The Dutch economy was less innovative this year, according to the Global Innovation Index 2016. In 2015 the country ranked 4th, this year the Dutch ecosystem takes position 9 worldwide and 7 in Europe.
The report states this years data shouldn't be compared with those of last year, as the research towards the publication keeps evolving. Countries flood in and out of the list and innovation itself keeps changing. Of course it's a great indication though. Here's what we found out:
Strengths of the Dutch innovation economy are Institutions (government effectiveness, regulatory environment), (e)-Infrastructure ( ICTs, e-participation, logistics performance) and Creative Outputs (ICTs & business/organizational model creation, online creativity). This was similar to last year.
Lack of direct investments
So where did the lower ranking come from? It must have had something to do with the research metric Knowledge and Technology Outputs (2015: rank 6, 2016: rank 16). Although The Netherlands has 'created more knowledge' in 2016, its 'knowledge diffusion' took a dive and was labeled by the GII as 'strength' in 2015 , but went to 'weakness' in 2016. To be more precise: it's about the so-called 'Foreign direct investment net outflows' as a percentage of the GDP.
In terms of 'Market Sophistication' the Netherlands are still weak – this has to do with the 'ease of getting credit' and the 'ease of protecting investors'. Both stats on these pillars have gone down, compared to 2015.
Words of hope
However, there are some words of hope. The scores and ranking for Human Capital & Research went up, although it still hosts several weaknesses – like graduates in science and engineering. There are no problems in 'R&D' though.
Of course, it's just one of many rankings (although an influential one). For instance, not so long ago the EU ranked The Netherlands 6th, and called it one of the fastest growers in innovation. We strongly advise to read both reports itself for an in-depth look at the state of innovation in your country.
Top economies Global Innovation Index
Switzerland was crowned the top innovation country in the world. Sweden and the UK complete the top 3. The US have taken the spot of The Netherlands, and Finland gained a rank at place 5. Germany entered the top 10, after being 12th in 2015.
Yes, the Dutch ecosystem last year had its innovation success stories (mainly about startups). No lack of media attention there. That doesn't mean we shouldn't write about a downfall. This helps better map the Netherlands as an innovation hotbed, and it only adds to better understanding the conditions of starting a business here. We at StartupJuncture have been keen on transparency in the startup sector from the beginning, and we're hoping more research like the GII steers the local ecosystem towards that goal.
Image by asadbaloch @ Pixabay