The Global Innovation Index for 2020 has been released, but there is not a single Latin American country on the list of the world’s 50 most innovative economies.
Analysts have blamed the region’s low R&D investments and the disconnection between the public and private sectors for the dismal performance.
Chile, which ranked 54th on the index, is the most innovative economy in the region, followed by Mexico and Costa Rica, ranked 55 and 56, respectively.
The best performer of the year is Jamaica, which jumped more than 20 slots to be ranked 80th on the index.
Despite having been ranked 62nd, Brazil has won numerous accolades from analysts. “Only Brazil has an R&D intensity that is comparable to some European economies, such as Portugal and Spain,” says the report.
Brazil’s R&D investment is rising year after year and is also producing high-quality scientific and technical publications. The country is also ahead of others when it comes to seeking patents.
The innovation index, released by Cornell University, Insead, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), takes into account the ease of doing business, scientific publications, and international patent registrations when ranking nations.
In Latin America, according to the report, R&D investments are primarily public, with private companies showing little or no interest in research activities.
Moreover, the economic sectors that account for a bulk of the region’s economy are not technology-intensive, the report noted.