The UAE has climbed six places in the Global Innovation Index, ranking ahead of all other Arab countries.
In the 2016 ranking, the emirates climbed to 41st worldwide from 47th and second in the Arab World the previous year.
This followed a significant fall from 2014, where it ranked 36th.
The report, co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, ranks 128 countries based on 82 sub-indices measuring innovation in relation to economic growth.
“The index results attributed the outstanding progress of the UAE this year to its sustainable achievements in innovation inputs, especially the strengthening of institutions and market sophistication,” according to state news agency WAM.
The UAE has made innovation a major part of its economic development, following the launch of a National Strategy for Innovation in 2014 and the declaration of 2015 as the year of innovation.
In the index, the UAE ranked first globally in terms of the cost of redundancy dismissal, ease of paying taxes, tertiary inbound mobility and state of cluster development.
It also jumped from 105th to 55th for investments, 73rd to 32nd for market capitalisation, 51st to 20th for total value of stock traded and 48th to 34th for venture capital deals.
The country’s patent ranking increased from 93rd to 68th, gross expenditure on R&D from 63rd to 48th and knowledge workers increased from 57th to 25th.
However, the report noted weaknesses in areas including high tech exports (111th), scientific and technical articles (106th), ease of getting credit (81st), tertiary enrolment in education (89th) and creative goods exports (121st).
Minister of economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri said knowledge innovation contributed an estimated 3 per cent to GDP and the country hoped to raise this to 5 per cent by 2021 through 12 initiatives and 39 projects designed to boost the knowledge economy.
“In order to achieve the strategic objectives of enhancing the country’s performance in global competitiveness sector and providing the latest data, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority is working tirelessly on developing a statistical system in the country based on the latest practices and international standards,” said Reem Al Hashemi, the minister of state for international cooperation and chairperson of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.
In the global ranking, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, United States and Finland made up the top five.
Among Gulf nations, Saudi Arabia ranked 49th, Qatar 50th, Bahrain 57th, Kuwait 67th and Oman 73rd.