The World’s Most Innovative Countries, 2020
By Bruno Lanvin
Who will finance innovation beyond Covid-19?
Necessity is the mother of invention. Indeed, during the global coronavirus crisis, the world needed to move work, education and play to the digital realm very quickly. One example of an accelerated adjustment is how Slack, the online collaboration hub, has managed to innovate to help companies around the world pivot to remote working (as well as hiring, onboarding and training) within days. Innovation in such times is crucial, but may also increase inequalities among countries, sectors and groups of population.
As the world continues to face a prolonged, massive health crisis, and prepares for the accompanying economic and social shocks, the question of “Who Will Finance Innovation?”, the theme of this year’s Global Innovation Index (GII), is critical in solving the seemingly insurmountable problems ahead of us.
Any crisis calls for a variety of short-term responses to the emergency at hand. But longer-term objectives must be safeguarded. Innovation financing is generally regarded as a long-term investment (especially in science and technology); a growing concern is that it may be sacrificed to more immediate economic and social demands.
Photo courtesy of Martin Heigan.