Germany tops Innovation Index

Germany has been ranked the world's most innovative economy by the Bloomberg Innovation Index. The annual rating is based on a range of criteria, including research and development (R&D) spending, manufacturing capability, and the concentration of high-tech public companies.

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In 2019, South Korea fell into second place after it had occupied the top spot for six years, with Singapore ranked third. Scoring in the top-five for value-added manufacturing, high-tech density, and patent activity helped to propel Germany into first place.

Germany's innovative capacity is also reflected in its healthcare industry, particularly in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical biotechnology, medical technology, and digital health. The chief economist at ING Germany, Carsten Brzeski, was interviewed about the ranking results. He noted, "The manufacturing sector is still highly competitive and a source for innovation."

This is particularly true of Germany's pharmaceutical industry. The annual CPhI Pharma Index in 2019 recognized Germany as leading the European pharmaceutical industry and ranked the country in the top five in the world in terms of innovativeness, market potential, and overall competitiveness, with the country being ranked first for the quality of its finished products.

High-tech density and patent activity are in part what makes Germany a global leader in digital health, medical technology and medical biotechnology as well. In terms of medical technology, Germany has long been second only to the US in terms of the number of medtech patents filed, with 1,340 applications coming from Germany in 2017. Meanwhile, all the sectors dedicate relatively large percentages of their earnings to R&D relative to their counterparts in other countries.

The export initiative for the German healthcare industry, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY, has published profiles of the country's pharmaceuticals, digital health, medical technology and medical biotechnology sectors. These guides present facts and background on how the sectors contribute to making Germany a leading global innovator.