Belarus has been ranked 72nd in the world and 37th in Europe in the Global Innovation Index 2019 jointly prepared by Cornell University, INSEAD Business School and the WIPO. The country has climbed 14 places since last year, taking its place between Brunei and Argentina.
According to a Facebook post by the Belarusian Innovation Fund, one of the main drivers that improved Belarus’ ranking in the GII is mobile app development. The country is now ranked 6th in the «Mobile app creation» indicator worldwide.
The authors of the report explain that mobile applications, as an integral part of the global trade in digital products, offer insight into how the innovation, production and trade of digitized creative products and services are evolving in an innovation-based economy.
Other key factors which promoted Belarus in the GII:
- access to IT infrastructure (37th place, up 22 positions);
- the number of ISO 9001 quality certificates/bn PPP$ GDP (14th place, up 96 positions);
- online-creativity (31st place, up 22 positions);
- government funding/pupil, secondary, % GDP/cap (8th place);
- education system (20th place);
- high quality human capital (39th place).
It’s worth noting that Belarus is ranked 23rd in the world in terms of the ratio of white collar (intellectual) workers to the total number of employees in the country. It is also No. 1 in the world in terms of the ratio of females with advanced academic degrees to the total working population.
Some of the factors holding back innovation development in Belarus are:
— access to credit resources (115th place),
— regulatory and legal framework (107th place),
— creative output (126th place).
The Belarusian Innovation Fund considers the findings to be «decent, but not completely unbiased»:
— For instance, the researchers omitted a number of venture capital deals by Belarusian startups and RBF ventures, Belarus Business Angel Network and other private investors, leaving the relevant metric empty.
This can be put down to a bad choice of data sources. The Thomson Reuters database, which is applied to measure the quantity and volume of deals often ignores small markets.