The Netherlands in 2nd place of the most innovative countries worldwide.




Each year, the Global Innovation Index (GII) tests over 130 economies on various scales. Those scales offer a high-quality insight into the innovative activity of the countries. The 81 indicators measured regard the political climate, education, infrastructure, and commercial refinement. The GII is prepared by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Cornell University and the French graduate business school INSEAD. The Netherlands in 2nd place of the most innovative countries worldwide.

Holland is doing well because of the triple helix.

The GII attributes Netherlands’ innovative success to the “forceful, interrelated business community that cooperates well with the universities”. That is to say: The Netherlands is in its element when it comes to cooperating. Government, knowledge institutions or entrepreneurs: we are not afraid to share knowledge and work together cross-sectorial. And that approach has clearly benefited us. The GII also stresses that the Dutch business community is increasingly becoming more international via IP licensing exports. Indeed, if you add together the various rankings, The Netherlands are already hot on the heels of forerunner Switzerland, according to newspaper FD.

A detailed overview of The Netherlands’ ranking in the various indicators: eleven of the most innovative countries are in Europe. China is in the top twenty for the first time this year, the United States fell two places to number six.

The importance of climate-friendly innovation

The theme of the 2018-edition of the GII is ‘Energizing the World with Innovation’, in view of the need for ‘green’ technology in the middle of a rising global energy demand.

“Innovation is indispensable to balance energy and the environment. But let us remember that such innovation cannot ever be only technical”, says Bruno Lanvin, executive director Global indices at INSEAD. "We also need new social, economic and business models. That can be achieved with smart cities and mobility solutions based on shared vehicles and by promoting global citizenship with better information on the impact of energy policies.”

Zuid-Holland is the second most innovative province

In 2014, Zuid-Holland ranked last on the list of innovative regions, now it takes second place after Brabant. Because of sizeable investments in innovation, above-average company dynamics, and increasing productivity, Zuid-Holland has greatly improved its innovation power. Increased investments in innovation in Zuid-Holland are an important explanation for this.  These amounted to almost 2 billion Euro in a period of two years, of which 750 million Euro were contributed by the public sector (government and knowledge institutions). Our share of foreign investment is increasing too: over 30% of the foreign businesses that settled in The Netherlands in 2017 opted for Zuid-Holland. In 2014, that was 20%.