NEW YORK, Sept 29 (Bernama) — Malaysia ranked 32nd in the world overall in the global innovation index this year, up a notch from 33rd last year, according to the this year’s Global Innovation Index (GII) report.
This was mentioned during the 5th Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) meeting in midtown Manhattan here Monday (Tuesday in Malaysia), chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The meeting had the benefit of insights from the GII report, newly- published by Cornell University, INSEAD (a graduate business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East), and the World Intellectual Porperty Organisation (WIPO).
“Malaysia is the top-ranked middle-income country for the innovation index,” the report says.
The report credits “political stability, inflows of foreign direct investment, and export-oriented industrialisation” for Malaysia’s successful tranformation into “an upper middle-income country”
GSIAC is a body of distinguished national and international leaders in economics, business, science and technology, and is mandated with helping the country achieve a high-income nation status by 2020.
The council is run jointly by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and the New York Academy of Sciences.
Malaysia has been an innovation achiever over the period 2011-2014, as seen in improvements to its Global Innovation Index (GII) score relative to its GDP, the reports says.
“Malaysia outperformed its middle-income peers in all seven pillars of the GII over the period 2011-2014.
“Its general institutions for stimulating innovation are good, as can be seen from the improvements in its ranking in the ease of starting a business indicator, from 90th in 2012 to 15th in 2014,” says the report.
Malaysia’s ranking in the business environment has also improved, seen in its rise from 53rd place in 2011 to 25th in 2014.
The reports says the government’s increasing focus on research funding has helped stimulate expansion in innovation inputs and outputs, evidenced by the rise in R&D expenditure as a share of GDP, R&D researchers and scientists per million persons, and a number of doctoral graduates and scientific publications.
On the other hand, the report says “Malaysia has remained a net technology and servics importer, with net receipts and licensing fees remaining negative for many years.
“Greater efforts should be made to improve institutional support and knowledge-based activities to turn Malaysia into a net exporter of technology and services,” the report says.
It also notes that Malaysia’s boosting of university-industry linkages is a good example for other countries that want to improve their innovation capacity.
By making it a requisite for universities to engage industry when seeking public R&D grants, scientific research at universities is increasingly targeted at commercialisation.
Another review of Malaysian innovation policy prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) foresees “immense opportunities to be seized”.
The OECD review is expected to cite several key actions need to improve Malaysia’s innovation capacity such as:
* Implementing an innovation-based development strategy
* Sustained attention to and continued investment in developing human resources and skills, and science, technology and innovation
* Gradually building a mature and well-performing national innovation system with healthy interactions between its constituents parts and the international environment
* Fostering the innovation capabilities of business firms through a mix of innovation-friendly framework conditions and dedicated and responsive policy measures
* Strengthening the contribution of universities and research institutes, notably by adequate mechanisms of steering and funding, taking account of the full range of these institutions’ functions (from educating skilled personnel for STI to performing advanced research)