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How did Egypt do on the 2020 Global Innovation Index? Better performance but not a better ranking

Egypt is ranked 96th among the 131 economies featured in the 2020’s Global Innovation Index released in September 2020 and co-published by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University, and INSEAD. It analyzes key global innovation trends and presents a ranking of the innovation performance of more than 130 economies around the world.  This year's theme of GII is: “Who Will Finance Innovation?” is timely given the human and global economic damage wreaked by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Global Innovation Index (GII) ranks world economies according to their innovation capabilities. Consisting of roughly 80 indicators, grouped into innovation inputs and outputs, the GII aims to capture the multi-dimensional facets of innovation.

Egypt performs better in innovation outputs than innovation inputs in 2020.This year Egypt ranks 104th in innovation inputs, higher than last year and higher compared to 2018. As for innovation outputs, Egypt ranks 82nd. This position is lower than last year and lower compared to 2018.

One bright spot is in the ranking of best performers by income group: Within Egypt’s bracket of 29 lower middle-income group economies, Egypt ranks 14th. Regionally, Cyprus, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE all received high rankings.

Egypt has high scores in three out of the seven GII pillars: Human capital & research, Infrastructure and Knowledge & technology outputs, which are above average for the lower middle-income group.

Conversely, Egypt scores below average for its income group in four pillars: Institutions, Market sophistication, Business sophistication and Creative outputs.

Egypt performs below average in all seven of the GII pillars comparing to other economies in Northern Africa and Western Asia.


GII strengths for Egypt are found in six of the seven GII pillars; in Human capital& research, Egypt ranked 90th: the indicator QS University ranking (48) reveals a strength. In the Infrastructure, Egypt ranked 99th as Egypt demonstrates strength in the indicator GDP/unit of energy use (ranking: 45th).

In Market sophistication, Egypt ranked 106th due to the strength Egypt shoed in the indicator Domestic market scale (19th ranking). For Business sophistication, Egypt ranked 103th after displaying strengths in the indicators Knowledge-intensive employment (45), State of cluster development (22) and High-tech imports (45).

In the Knowledge & technology outputs, Egypt ranks 65th as it reveals strengths in the sub-pillar Knowledge impact (36th ranking), and in the indicators Citable documents H-index (47th ranking), Growth rate of PPP (20th ranking) and Computer software spending (21th ranking). For Creative outputs, Egypt ranked 101th as the indicator Creative goods exports (45th ranking) demonstrates a strength.


GII weaknesses for Egypt are found in six of the seven GII pillars; in the Institutions Egypt ranked 115th exhibiting weaknesses in the sub-pillar Regulatory environment (124th ranking) and in the indicators Regulatory quality (121th ranking) and Cost of redundancy dismissal (124th ranking).

Egypt ranked 90th in Human capital & research because of the weaknesses in the indicators Graduates in science & engineering (102th ranking) and Global R&D companies (42th ranking). In Business sophistication, Egypt ranked 103th as the indicator Firms offering formal training reveals a weakness (93th ranking).

In addition, Egypt ranked 99th in the infrastructure after displaying weaknesses in the sub-pillar General infrastructure (116th ranking) and in the indicator Gross capital formation (114th ranking). In the Market sophistication, Egypt ranked 106th after showing weaknesses in the sub-pillar Investment (119th ranking) and in the indicator Venture capital deals (70th ranking).

For the Creative outputs, Egypt ranked 101th  after demonstrating weaknesses in the indicators National feature films (96th ranking), Entertainment & Media market (61th ranking) and Country-code TLDs (123th ranking).

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