The impact of human capital on innovation


In the 2014 edition of their list of the world’s most innovative companies, researchers from INSEAD emphasize the importance of human capital for innovation. The ten most innovative economies were found to invest heavily in human capital, particularly education:
• They have the capacity to develop creative and deductive skills in future employees as part of their basic training
• They value on-going, lifelong learning
• They encourage a silo-free learning environment (initial and continuing) that promotes inter-disciplinary links.
The study also found that the most spectacular progress in the rankings (now in their seventh year) has been made by eastern European economies, such as Moldova, and by African countries, such as Uganda and Kenya, which are described as “innovation learners”.

The top 10 most innovative countries in 2014:

1. Switzerland
2. United Kingdom
3. Sweden
4. Finland
5. Netherlands
6. United States
7. Singapore
8. Denmark
9. Luxembourg
10. Hong Kong (China)

INSEAD, July 2014.

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Frugal innovation in emerging countries for sustainable growth

Based on “Emerging markets willing to pay more for ‘green’ products” by Sumner Lemon (InfoWorld, January 2010), “Ghana: Bamboo bikes in high demand” by Kofi Adu Domfeh (Africa News, March 2011), “Striving for Positive Water Impact” by PepsiCo & The Nature Conservancy, 2011, “Doing green business with emerging markets” from the 11th European Forum on Eco-Innovation (European Commission Environment, October 2011).
Business Digest N° 226 May 2012.