Romania, least innovative country in the region
Romania is at the bottom of the latest Global Innovation Index 2022, being the least innovative country in the region.
Romania is 49th out of 132 countries in terms of innovation, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization, which publishes the Index. The poor results come as a surprise for a country famed for its strong IT sector.
The latest data published by the National Institute of Statistics show an increase in research and development activity in Romania in 2022. Official numbers show a shift from a research sector dominated by the state to one in which private companies are the most important. Spending in the field represents 0.48% of GDP, of which 0.29% went to the private sector and 0.19% to the public one.
The number of employees in the research and development sector also increased by 3.8% compared to 2021, reaching 47,011 people. But the increase was due to hiring done by the private sector, while public sector and higher education staff fell. Private companies also financed more than half of the research and development activity in Romania.
Nevertheless, Romania (49) still ranks lower than any country in the region in the Global Innovation Index of 2022. Ahead of it are the Czech Republic (30), Slovenia (33), Hungary (34), Bulgaria (35), Poland (38), and Slovakia (46). Neighbouring Moldova is 56th in the ranking.
The world leaders in innovation, according to the index, are, in order, Switzerland, the United States, and Sweden. The UK is in fourth place, followed by the Netherlands and South Korea. Germany, the largest European economy, comes in at number 8, and China at 11. The top 20 most innovative countries in the world includes Estonia.
Romania ranks low due to its weak public institutions, the poorly-designed policies related to the business environment, and GDP spending on education, among other reasons. Romania’s IT sector is highlighted in the report as one of the country’s strengths.
The 2022 Index saw a significant change in the top 15 innovators, with the United States, Singapore, Germany, and China moving up the rankings, with the latter overtaking France. Turkey, India, and, to some extent, the Islamic Republic of Iran continued to move up the rankings. Romania, on the other hand, dropped.