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Industry Talk

Swiss lead in global R&D

Global investment has tripled to $2.4 trillion since 2000.

6th January 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Vancouver, British Columbia

Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial

Switzerland has ranked top in the list of the world’s most innovative countries for the 12th year running, according to Vancouver, British Columbia-based media company Visual Capitalist, using data from the United Nations WIPO Global Innovation Index.

In second place is the United States, which is the top spender on R&D at over $700 billion per year, followed by South Korea and Israel.

Switzerland’s ranking may come as a surprise to many, but the country’s intellectual property rules are considered world-class and they are complemented by strong collaboration between universities and industry. In addition, the country attracts top talent thanks to its high quality of living.

Globally, four of the five biggest R&D spending companies are in the USA – Amazon ($42.7 billion), Alphabet ($27.6 billion), Microsoft ($19.3 billion), and Apple ($18.8 billion).

© Visual Capitalist

Since 2000, global investment in R&D has tripled to $2.4 trillion according to Visual Capitalist and R&D spend is also casting a wider global net.

In 1960, the USA made up nearly 70% of global R&D spending, and by 2020 this had fallen to 30%. From job creation and public health to national security and industrial competitiveness, R&D plays a vital role in a country’s economic growth and innovation, impacting nearly every corner of society either directly or indirectly.

Along with R&D spend, other key ingredients play an important role in driving progress and innovation, including technological adoption, scientific research and venture capital activity.

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