Netherlands Ranked 3rd Most Innovative Country for 2017

The tenth edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) has ranked the Netherlands as the third most innovative country in the world, moving up from 9th place in 2016. Switzerland took the number one spot for the seventh consecutive year, with the highest ratio of European patent applications to population and world-class research institutes. Notably, China came in at 22nd and became the first-ever middle income economy to rank in the top 25.

The GII surveys 130 economies using a number of metrics from patent filing to education spend. It is co-authored by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The countries are ranked in seven categories: research, institutions, market and business sophistication, infrastructure and commitment to knowledge and creativity. The Netherlands led in business sophistication rankings with a high volume of patents filed. It also ranked well for technology and knowledge output, including inventions and trademarks.

The theme of the 2017 GII was “Innovation Feeding the World,” as the food and agriculture industry will face an astronomical increase in global demand over the next few decades. Innovation will be a major key in sustaining food systems and assisting in the mitigation of climate change. The Netherlands has innovated to reach high levels of sustainable agricultural productivity and 12 of the world’s top 40 food and drink companies have R&D centres located here. The Global Alliance for Food Security will adopt Climate Smart Agriculture, an approach developed in the Netherlands, to re-orientate agricultural development to address climate change.

The Netherlands was also one of the fastest growing innovators in a similar report, the European Commission’s Innovation Scoreboard. The nation showed strong improvement in the quality of its scientific publications, the proportion of SMES contributing to innovation as well as collaboration between organisations.

However, Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs stated that while public investment in innovation was above the European average, “Dutch companies’ own investments are under. It is now important that entrepreneurs invest more in innovation.”

There are various tax incentives available to Dutch companies to encourage greater investment in R&D including a tax credit of up to 40% for startups for the first €350,000 of R&D expenditure. To find out whether you are eligible, ask the experts at Swanson Reed R&D Tax Advisors who will provide a free, no-obligation assessment.

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