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Global Competitiveness Report 2018: Germany the most innovative country in the world

Did you know that Germany is the most innovative country in the world? In its recently published Global Competitiveness Report 2018 (http://reports.weforum.org/global-competitiveness-report-2018/), the Geneva based World Economic Forum ranks Germany no. 1 in the category „innovation capability“.

As the World Economic Forum explains, the Global Competitiveness Report 2018 assesses „the competitiveness landscape of 140 economies, providing unique insight into the drivers of economic growth in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution“. Whereas the German economy has achieved a third place in the overall competitiveness ranking behind the USA and Singapore, it is also the most competitive economy in Europe. Among the key factors for the World Economic Forum’s assessment are the number of patent applications and of scientific publications from Germany and the high customer satisfaction with products „Made in Germany“. A more and more vivid start-up landscape in Germany with Berlin as one of the most important hubs in Europe certainly plays a role in the overall development. But also well-established German „Mittelstand“ companies traditionally base their success on innovation, which is the logical consequence of a business environment that is characterized by a lack of natural resources and rather elevated labor cost.

Not by chance Germany is home to more so-called hidden champions than any other country in the world. These companies have specialized in products for a small niche, but often high-tech market and have become world-market leaders in their field of business. This is not possible without constant innovation and long-term orientation. The highly skilled workforce in Germany plays another decisive role in this development, because inventions are made by people and the number of employee inventions in Germany is traditionally high. Whereas other economies have a stronger focus on software or consumer electronics, the German industry is particularly strong in the manufacturing and automatization sector. This makes the German industry a natural world-leader in the development of the so-called internet of things (IoT). Not only the German „Mittelstand“ is contributing to Germany’s leading role in the field of IoT, but also an multinational giant like IBM, currently investing USD 200 million on its worldwide headquarters for its Watson IoT business in Munich - their largest European investment for decades. The German government is also backing this development and has recently initiated „EEBus“, an IoT standards alliance with 60 member companies including Bosch, ABB, SMA, Miele, Schneider, Valliant and several European car brands. As the IoT certainly is one of “the drivers of economic growth in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution“, to cite once again the World Economic Forum, we are confident that the German economy will also lead the „innovation capability“ ranking in the next Global Competitiveness Report.

Dr. Sven Ufe Tjarks

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