13.10.2023 - Innovation

Latvia climbs four places in Global Innovation Index

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published its latest Global Innovation Index 2023, in which Latvia comes in at 37th place, which is four places higher than last year. Although Latvia has improved its position, there are some areas in which we still need to find solutions for improving our results and closing the gap with countries with more developed innovation.

In the Global Innovation Index 2022, Latvia had slipped down to 41st place. Labs of Latvia published a series of articles analysing the situation at the time, seeking reasons for Latvia’s result and exploring the possible solutions to ensure that the innovation situation improved in subsequent years.

Number of patents submitted improves

The Global Innovation Index 2023 concludes that, in Latvia, investment in innovation outpaces the number of actual innovations, but the number of patents submitted has improved by 3.28% since the last rating.

Figures have also improved in high technology exports. Its value increased by 5.94%, with Latvia ranking a high 25th in this category.

In this year’s Innovation Index, Latvia’s best results were in creative outputs (31st place), infrastructure (33rd place), and business sophistication (37th place). Latvia also has comparatively high results in institutions (39th place), human capital and research (43rd place), and knowledge and technology outputs (49th place).

As in previous years, Latvia’s strengths are innovation in the film industry, higher education enrollment, and the proportion of culture and creative services exports compared with total trade. Meanwhile, Latvia has weaker results in categories such as domestic market scale, business policy and software spending.

Investment in innovation is higher than number of innovations generated
Latvia ranks 38th on innovation input, climbing one place since last year, and ranks 39th in innovation output, which is three places higher than in 2022. The creators of the index conclude that investment in innovation is higher than the number of innovations generated.

One of the indicators which is analysed in this report is predicted versus achieved innovation results. In this aspect, it was concluded that Latvia’s results in innovation compared with gross domestic product figures match development predictions, but Latvia is still not among those countries which are viewed as innovation leaders or whose results are higher than predicted.

Situation analysed in 132 countries

Every year, the Global Innovation Index rates the most innovative economies in the world, whilst highlighting their strong and weak points when it comes to innovation. Each country is evaluated based on 80 different categories, which are grouped into innovation inputs and innovation outputs.

The top five most innovative countries in the world according to this methodology are Switzerland, Sweden, the US, the UK and Singapore. Switzerland takes first place this year for the 13th year in a row. This year, there has been a change in the next two places: Sweden has pushed the US out of second place.

The highest-ranked country in the Baltics was Estonia, which took 16th place in the Global Innovation Index 2023. Lithuania came in 34th. All Baltic and Nordic countries improved their ranking this year. The exception is Iceland, which remained unchanged in 20th place.

Many challenges impacting innovation environment

Researchers admit that the past year has been a varied one in the innovation environment, impacted by many challenges and a global reduction in financing for innovation. It is also unclear how this year will end and what is to come in 2024. Although technological progress continues to move forward in large and powerful steps, the socioeconomic returns are not as hoped for.

Latvia ranked best in three areas of technological development: information technology, healthcare and energy. However, the socioeconomic impact of innovation in these areas continues to be at a low level for the second year in a row. This has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The report also concludes that productivity is still at a standstill and life expectancy continues to shrink, although the overall health of the population is improving.

Author: Anda Asere (www.labsoflatvia.com)
Photo: Shutterstock

Sign up for newsletters

Stay up to date on the weekly newsletters on recent news and activities.


Sign up for newsletters

Stay up to date on the weekly newsletters on recent news and activities.


Please fill the input fields
Thank you the file has been successfully downloaded