The Netherlands in world’s top 10 countries for innovation

The Netherlands has placed sixth in a ranking of the world’s most innovative countries. 

The Global Innovation Index 2021 by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a UN agency, measured 132 economies on 81 different indicators and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on innovation.

The top five ranking countries were Switzerland, Sweden, US, UK and Korea. The Netherlands ranked fourth in Europe and scored highly in government effectiveness, regulatory quality, business environment, knowledge absorption, logistics performance and online creativity. 

Overall, the study found firms covering software, internet and communications technologies, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology increased their investments in innovation, while firms in sectors heavily hit by the pandemic’s lockdown measures, such as transport and travel, cut their outlays.

"This year’s Global Innovation Index shows us that in spite of the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and livelihoods, many sectors have shown remarkable resilience – especially those that have embraced digitalisation, technology and innovation", said WIPO Director General Daren Tang. “As the world looks to rebuild from the pandemic, we know that innovation is integral to overcoming the common challenges that we face and to constructing a better future.”

Spirit of innovation in Amsterdam

More than 3,600 international companies have invested in the Amsterdam Area and have contributed to an innovative business environment. The city is a welcoming place for startups to test innovations thanks to the city’s impressive ecosystem of accelerators, incubators and high-ranking universities and research centres. Meanwhile, Amsterdam’s long tradition of public-private collaborations encourage disruptive ideas, rapid growth and a fast foothold on the market.

The pandemic has driven firms in the region to meet society’s changing needs. In the life sciences and health sector, Happitech’s heart monitoring technology was incorporated into an app created by Amsterdam’s OLVG hospital and developers Luscii. Amsterdam’s Pacmed also applied its machine learning models to help medical professionals make optimal use of ICU beds around the Netherlands, preventing overcrowding while improving the treatment of critically ill patients.

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