South Korea Leads in Innovation, America Drops Out of Top 10

February 4, 2021

South Korea has returned to first place after regaining its crown from Germany, which dropped to fourth place, according to the latest Bloomberg Innovation Index. The United States dropped out of the top 10, while Asian and European countries fight for supremacy.

An increasingly diverse population in the United States has deteriorated its once prestigious higher education system. As “woke” culture punishes meritocracy and shames Asian and Caucasian STEM students for simply excelling, there is very little hope the United States will ever regain a meaningful spot on the Innovation Index.

Homogenous South Korea has topped the Innovation Index for seven of the nine years that it’s been published.

The Bloomberg index analyzes dozens of criteria using seven equally weighted metrics, including research and development spending, manufacturing capability, and concentration of high-tech public companies.

Screenshot via Bloomberg

“In the year of Covid and facing the urgency of climate change, the importance of innovation fundamentals only increases,” said Catherine Mann, global chief economist at Citigroup Inc. “Innovation is often measured by new ideas, new products, and new services,” she said, but it’s their “diffusion and adoption” that is the real metric of success, reports Bloomberg.

Screenshot via Bloomberg

There’s a near-total agreement in South Korea that “R&D is essential to have a future,” said Lee Kyung-mook, a professor of business management at Seoul National University. “It’s sandwiched between more developed nations, which still outperform them in technology and China that is catching up fast relying on lower labor costs.”

Second-placed Singapore, which has been allocating budget funds to help workers and companies transition to a digital economy, also scores high for manufacturing –- and its globally competitive universities put it top of the tertiary education gauge. Switzerland, a leader in financial and biological technology, ranks near the top in both of the index’s research categories.

Germany’s loss of the crown follows a warning two years ago by Juergen Michels, chief economist of Bayerische Landesbank, who said the country lacked skilled workers and a proper strategy for next-generation technology. Waves of African migrants have proven ineffective—although German-trained—to compete with Asian powerhouses, which places meritocracy above diversity.

China and the United States have also been locked in a battle for technological supremacy. The United States has been in steep decline since 2013 with China steadily narrowing the gap as of 2021.

Screenshot via Bloomberg

Feature Image via Foreign Policy

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