SINGAPORE (July 11): Singapore has moved up two notches to be the fifth most innovative country amongst 126 nations in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2018 report.

Retaining its top spot as the most innovative country in Asia, the Republic is ranked just behind European innovation powerhouses Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the annual GII report compares the innovation performance and capabilities of global economies.

This year, Singapore’s strong performance in the global innovation index can be attributed to improvements in output indicators such as growth rate of purchasing power parity as well as infocomm and technology (ICT) services exports.

The GII report also highlighted improvements in IP-related output indicators such as IP receipts and patents by origin.

To support ICT, which was identified as one of Singapore’s key growth sectors, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) – a statutory board under the Ministry of Law that uses its IP expertise and networks to drive Singapore’s future growth – recently introduced the FinTech Fast Track initiative.

The scheme is designed to help innovators bring their fintech innovations to the market more rapidly by shortening the patent grant process from two years to six months.

“Innovation is becoming a driving force in our economy and globally,” says Daren Tang, chief executive of IPOS.

“The GII 2018 accolade supports the advancement of Singapore’s IP and innovation agenda,” he adds. “Being ranked fifth in a credible global study gives greater impetus for our enterprises and entrepreneurs to keep using innovation and leveraging their intangible assets to grow from Singapore to the world.”