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Australia is going backwards in the global innovation race

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When it comes to innovation, Australia continues to punch below its weight.

Australia has slipped one place to 19th on Bloomberg's 2019 Innovation Index released this month – overtaken by China for the first time.

Each year Bloomberg analyses countries using seven metrics including education, research and development, spending, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech public companies. It then publishes a list of the 60 most innovative nations.

South Korea retained the global crown for a sixth time in 2019 with Germany, a leader research and education, a close second.

China jumped three places to 16th thanks largely to patent activity. China ranked No. 2 in patent activity on the strength of R&D from Huawei Technologies Co. and BOE Technology Group. However, it still lags behind most innovative countries in terms of overall productivity.

Britain fell one spot to 18th – also losing out to China for the first time – while Sweden, the runner-up in 2018, plunged to seventh.

Big winner

The US moved up to eighth place, after falling out of the top 10 for the first time last year.

Israel, which was a big winner by jumping five spots to fifth overall, leapfrogging Singapore, Sweden and Japan. The tech savvy nation was boosted by a big jump in new patents during 2018.

Sweden, which was last year’s runner-up, surprisingly plunged to seventh spot.

The United Arab Emirates made the highest debut in 46th place and Brazil rejoined the index in the 45th spot after not being ranked last year.

Other new entrants included India, Mexico, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

The 2019 ranking process began with more than 200 economies. Nations that didn't report data for at least six categories were eliminated, trimming the total list to 95.

The top 60 are listed here:

Bloomberg innovation index

1 South Korea

2 Germany

3 Finland

4 Switzerland

5 Israel

6 Singapore

7 Sweden

8 United States

9 Japan

10 France

11 Denmark

12 Austria

13 Belgium

14 Ireland

15 Netherlands

16 China

17 Norway

18 United Kingdom

19 Australia

20 Canada

21 Italy

22 Poland

23 Iceland

24 New Zealand

25 Czech Republic

26 Malaysia

27 Russia

28 Luxembourg

29 Romania

30 Spain

31 Slovenia

32 Hungary

33 Turkey

34 Portugal

35 Greece

36 Estonia

37 Lithuania

38 Hong Kong

39 Slovakia

40 Thailand

41 Bulgaria

42 Latvia

43 Malta

44 Croatia

45 Brazil

46 United Arab Emirates

47 Iran

48 Cyprus

49 Serbia

50 Argentina

51 South Africa

52 Tunisia

53 Ukraine

54 India

55 Kuwait

56 Saudi Arabia

57 Qatar

58 Chile

59 Mexico

60 Vietnam

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