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Singapore No 4 worldwide for supporting global innovation through domestic policies

SINGAPORE was ranked fourth worldwide for domestic policies which support global innovation, according to think tank Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

The report studied 56 countries, looking at 27 factors with positive and negative spillovers such as supportive tax systems, investment in research & development and human capital, forced localisation and weak intellectual property protection.

"Robust innovation is essential for economic growth and progress," said co-author Stephen Ezell, ITIF's vice-president for global innovation. "As countries increasingly vie for leadership in the innovation economy, they can implement policies that try to benefit only themselves but harm the production of innovation in the rest of the world. Or they can implement 'win-win' policies that bolster their own innovation capacity while also generating positive spillovers for the entire global economy. For innovation to flourish around the world, we need a system that is doing much more of the latter."

Singapore's fourth place indicated policies that the report found to be best in their positive contribution to the global innovation ecosystem and 22nd in terms of being least harmful.

The report also showed a robust correlation between countries' contributions to global innovation and their levels of domestic innovation success, suggesting that performing well when it comes to innovation policy at home bodes well for the world too.

The report also highlighted that countries should adopt policies to enhance their impact on global innovation. To start, it urged policymakers and economists to treat innovation as an important tool for optimising global growth.

Secondly, the report called on the global development and trade community to set up a framework that better differentiates between policies that are beneficial for the world's innovation ecosystem and those that are harmful.

Finally, ITIF said that established countries should set up a Global Science and Innovation Foundation to fund research on major global challenges, especially through joint research.

Robert D Atkinson, ITIF's president and a co-author of the report, added: "Policymakers need to better understand and more aggressively push back when countries try to advance their own interests at the expense of global innovation. The world's leaders need to articulate a more robust vision of commonly shared prosperity based on substantial increases in worldwide productivity and more innovative products and services."