Singapore tops world innovation list

Asia - particularly Singapore, South Korea and Japan - is "the place to look" for global innovation leaders, a new report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has found.

Singapore has topped a global list of innovation-based economies, scoring 15% higher than the US and 40% higher than the 15 EU economies (EU-15).  "Singapore has made technological innovation almost a national obsession," the report said.

South Korea placed fifth, scoring slightly ahead of the US, but 25% higher than the EU-15.

"With favorable corporate tax policies and agencies like the South Korea Information Agency, South Korea has made a concerted effort to prosper through technology-led growth," the report said.

Japan placed ninth, below the US but still 14% higher than the EU-15. "Many economic pundits have mistakenly written off [Japan]," the report said, but added that the country's slow GDP growth is less due to poor economic performance than it is from a declining working age population.

Countries are scored on factors such as IT investment, e-government, higher education, and corporate and government R&D spending. The survey covered 36 countries and four regions.

Singapore, South Korea and Japan were the only Asian nations in the top ten.