17 October 2022
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The pandemic has pushed innovation to new limits, but what does it mean to the future of business universe? On its newest report, the World Intellectual Property Organization brings some insights. 

Even though Covid-19 pandemic has locked people inside home, innovation kept flowing – at least in Switzerland, the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and few other countries. That’s what the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) says, on its 15th edition of Global Innovation Index (GII).  

Launched on September 29th, the newest report has had the main goal of tracking innovation trends along the pandemic scenario. In addition, WIPO tried to answer the question “What is the future of innovation-driven growth?”.  

The index explains that “the world is about to enter a new economic and social era”. This prediction is associated with massive innovation trends, which will be able to reduce one of the main nowadays issues: low productivity.  

According to Prodoscore, an intelligence software company, low-productivity employees comprise about 10% of any organization. Alongside, a Hubspot study indicates that employers with low productivity levels can cost 1.8 billion dollars every year.  

“Productivity is at the core of what we want our societies and economies to be tomorrow, in particular if we want to combine higher levels of equality while using natural resources more sensibly”, says Bruno Lanvin, GII co-editor and Portulans Institute co-founder. Considering these insights, what future holds for innovation? 

New Innovation waves 

According to GII 2022, innovation may go through two new phases. The first one is called Digital Age innovation wave, which is based on supercomputing, artificial intelligence and automation. The second one is a Deep Science innovation wave, “built on breakthroughs in biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, new materials and other sciences”, as the research has described. 

While the elements from Digital Age are associated to productivity impacts across multiples sectors and fields of scientific research, Deep Science is revolutionizing mainly in four fields, such as: Health, Food, Environment and Mobility. 

“A true revolution is driving innovation today, guided by Digital Age and Deep Science waves. We have a collective responsibility to draw the lessons of recent crises to put this revolution on the right track, and gear it to the future we want”, Lanvin completes. 

What can be a concern? 

However, to achieve positive effects, technology adoption and diffusion are some of the obstacles that need to be overcome first.  

As an example of other issues, GII points that United States indicators of technological progress shows a slowdown on long-term trends, especially  when talking about drugs approvals, semiconductor speed, electric battery prices and the cost of renewable energy (not including wind). 

The Index defends that Digital Age and Deep Science innovation waves can be deployed effectively. Aside that, GII research believes that “if governments address the urgent matters discussed in the GII 2022 Special theme section, then innovation-driven productivity growth and its effect on our well-being will be high”. 

What happened in the last two years?

Although an economic recession has taken the world over the last years, investments in Research & Development (R&D) kept growing in 2020. According to GII, it has had an increase of 3.3%.   

The positive result during the first year of pandemic was due to the protection measure from countries which mainly invest in this field. Because of fear of an innovation crisis, some governments decided to allocate their budgets to protect their R&D. Therefore, more than 2 million scientific articles were published all around the world in 2021. 

Meanwhile, R&D budgets in Japan and United States are being cut by its government, countries like Germany and South Korea keep growing their budgets for this purpose. 

By: FI Group

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