I would not like to say that if those innovations patented by the Indian scientists, engineers on behalf of MNCs having head quarter outside India, were counted, would have improved the rank. But I believe Indians are innovative (though they are actually shy to claim it).
Sufia has already pointed out some of the criteria where India scored low, which are political inefficiency, instability, poorer quality of education, bad grasping power (??)...etc. True. Apart from all that, I believe many of the innovations get un-noticed due to lack of awareness about protecting one's invention (patenting) and moreover the willingness of the Indian companies to encourage and support innovation.
Sufia, thank you for the information! In short, if an Indian national working for an US/Europian multinational subsidary innovates something but does not file patent in India, instead files the patent in US or Europian country which is owning the subsidary company...the credit for innovation does not get counted for India, right?
One has to be very careful with patent-related metrics. Not all inventive activity of multinational company filing a patent in its headquarter country, must necessarily emanate from this country alone. A patent filed in the US by a US multinational, for instance, might draw on research & development and other inventive activity and innovation in locations outside of the United States. Design & Development is also often important, but not the most technologically-savy component of invention and innovation. Hence attributing the patent to all countries where parts of the lesser innovative nventive activity took place would also not be right.
The GII has two patent-related metrics
First, it measures "resident patent filings in a country". If no patent is filed by residents in India in the above example then nothing gets attributed and the result is 0 patents. If however an Indian subsidiary of a US multinational files for a patent, then usually this is counted as a resident patent filing. And then we have 1 patent.
Second, it measures patent families. In practice, companies file patents in multiple jurisdictions on the same invention . Usually, the first patent is in the most important market or its headquarter. And then the company also often files in countries where the patented technology has a large potential market or a range of potential imitators with the necessary technological skills. It is not unlikely that the above-mentioned firm would file for a patent in India via its Indian subsidiary as well, in which case it is counted in the GII. It all depends a bit on the product and firm in question.
I guess Charles means well but I don't agree with it too. India is supposed to be loaded with IT talent on one hand and on the other hand, people here try to do their best when lack of funds and government support is just not forthcoming – they try to make things better for themselves in any small way possible.. so why cant big things happen? If the infrastructure is good and the ecosystem, nurtures growth I would like to see India move way up from the 66th position. Countries like MoldovaRep, Armenia and Chile are ranked above ( not that I have anything against those countries) is not encouraging.. especially when we call cities like Bangalore the Silicon Valley of India.
Thanks for this article. It is wonderful that India is ranked as the 66th Most Innovation Nation. But let's not forget, that innovation without money doesn't lead to success. But this is good news for the Country.
Did this study consider the patents filed by the multi-national/ global companies, who have design & development centers in india but the head quarter is in some other countries such as US, countries in Europe or is it based on the patents filed by the Indian companies alone?
There were two schools of thought when I spoke to a few people about innovation – not just for this article but generally at seminars/press conferences I attend. Publicly, representatives of companies ( foreign ) would invariably say that Indians are very talented and the software engineers are extremely good. But off the record, ( if I were to specifically ask about innovation or products coming out of India) a few would say that they don't think Indians are innovators but would always commend them for their diligence and hard work ( you have to keep in mind that these comments/people are usually in IT since I cover that beat here in India). They feel that Indians do not question and that they look more guidance and specs. And, asking questions is something foreign to them. This was one school of thought.
The other school of thought was that the above was wrong – maybe it would have been true 20 years earlier but not now. But the catch here is if they were to think out-of-the-box, then where would they be headed? There is no ecosystem to help them take their ideas or their entrepreneurship forward. And, once that exist, which are very few - well, those are only for the very lucky few or the priviliged/blue-eyed kind of guys. The rest of the crowd struggle for years on end and finally give up.