The nation granted 543 patents per million of the population in 2017.

Singapore ranked as the 14th most idea-intensive nation in the world with 543 patents granted per million population in 2017, PwC reported.

The city rose two spots higher from its ranking in 2010, where it granted 359 patents per million.

Holding the crown as the world’s most idea intensive nation was South Korea, with 2,554 patents granted per million population. Part of South Korea’s success can be attributed to government investment in Pangyo Techno Valley (PTV), an innovation hub established in 2011.

It is followed by Luxembourg with 2,517, Switzerland with 2,371, Japan with 2,239, and Sweden with 1,207.


China, which entered Top 20 for the first time with 254 granted per million, ranked first in terms of absolute number of patents granted with about 350,000.

The number of patents granted globally has more than doubled to nearly 1.4m in 2017, from 510,000 in 2000, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

In East Asia, patents for computer technology, electrical machinery and digital communication technologies prevailed across the region, with China granting more patents in computer technologies alone (28,700) than the total of Canada, Australia and Spain combined.

Additionally, PwC observed a correlation between idea intensity and R&D expenditure, as the top 20 in its chart also spent the highest proportion of GDP on research.

A study by Maradana et al. in 2017 found that there is a relationship between indicators of innovation like patents and economic growth.

Sourced from Singapore Business