Australia, Singapore top Technological Readiness ranking

Enterprise Innovation editors

Australia, Singapore and Sweden topped the leaderboards of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s new 'Technological Readiness Ranking' for 2018-2022.

This ranking considers access to the Internet, the digital economy infrastructure and openness to innovation—key elements of today's most competitive business locations.

In 2013-17 the top-scoring countries were Finland and Sweden. The US and France will join the top 10 in 2018-22; Libya and Angola will retain the lowest positions.

The breakdown of scores shows that the Netherlands has the best e-commerce offering, the UK has exemplary e-government services and Taiwan is the world leader for cybersecurity.

Meanwhile, China has seen strong growth in patent applications in recent years, but based on the EIU's measure of patent grants, as a proxy for innovation, the US is still the clear frontrunner.

The key finding of the report is that government investment will drive a broad-based improvement in countries' tech-readiness in the next five years. Spending on e-government, cybersecurity and a robust e-commerce environment will increasingly be seen as a policy priority.

This report builds on the EIU's long-running 'Business Environment Ranking', which measures the attractiveness of 82 of the world's largest economies as investment locations.

The EIU's new ranking focuses on how future-oriented these 82 business environments are. It assesses eight indicators across three categories:

  • Access to the internet, which looks at internet usage and mobile phone subscriptions.
  • Digital economy infrastructure, looking at e-commerce, e-government and cyber-security.
  • Openness to innovation, exploring international patents, research and development (R&D) spending, and the research infrastructure.

"Technological change is inescapable, and how well prepared governments, businesses and individuals are for disruption is increasingly important. The US will climb sharply in our ranking in the coming years as internet access improves, and will remain the world leader for innovation clusters and new patents,” EIU country forecast director Emily Mansfield said.

“Meanwhile the UK's position will decline, reflecting comparatively low R&D spending—a key contributor to productivity growth—and inadequate investment in cyber-security."

First published in Enterprise Innovation



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