Global Innovation Index 2016: Bulgaria Ranks 3rd in the Upper-Middle Income Economies

According to the Global Innovation Index 2016, Bulgaria ranks on the third position of the Top Performers in the upper-middle income economies worldwide following immediately  after China (1st) and Malaysia (2nd). In this year’s edition of the annual Global Innovation Index (GII), Bulgaria makes a leap forward compared to GII 2015 and ranks 38th on the overall global innovation ranking of the 128 economies. Impressively, this country is the only representative of Southeast Europe that has appeared in one of the three highest-ranking positions of the top performers lists by income group.


Infographic by: Global innovation Index 2016

With China part of the top 25, Malaysia (at 35th) is the closest middle-income economy to China in terms of its ranking, yet the distance between them has widened. Bulgaria, at 38th place, is the second middle-income economy in line. Indeed, Malaysia and Bulgaria show similar or higher pillar scores than those of the high-income economies group that are not in the top 25, especially in the Business sophistication and Knowledge and technology outputs pillars,” the report reads.

Among the indicators that are being used in the research, Bulgaria scores particularly high (29th) in the creative outputs pillar, which measures the role of creativity for innovation. Other strengths of the Bulgarian economy include the ISO 14001 environmental certificates, ISO 9001 quality certificates, percentage of gross expenditure on R&D invested by abroad, count of trademark application class by origin, count of industrial designs origin, etc.

Looking back at the annual performance in the past three years, Bulgaria continues to affirm its position on the Global Innovation Index ranks (GII 2014: 44th, GII 2015: 39th, GII 2016: 38th). Apart from GII, Bulgaria can also take pride in promoting innovation through successful acceleration programs that have shown great results both in quality and quantity. Just as a reminder, Bulgarian startup accelerator Eleven has recently been listed as the third most successful seed accelerator in Europe by the European Accelerator Report 2015. All things considered, this country is on track to becoming the next promising innovation engine from the Balkan region.

What is the Global Innovation Index?

GII evaluates and ranks world economies on a multi-dimensional level. The report was first introduced in 2007 and it is being issued on an annual basis ever since. GII aims to uncover all aspects of innovation and offer tools that will assist in creating economic policies that will promote output growth in the long term. The 2016 edition encompasses 128 economies accounting for 92.8% of the world population and 97.9% of global GDP. Economies are benchmarked on approximately 80 indicators, including the following pillars: institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market and business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs, and creative outputs. The Global Innovation Index 2016 was co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).