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    Bulletin 24-1 Re-estimating Ireland’s International Innovation Performance

    Date:04 April 2024 

    Ireland’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index (GII) stood at 22nd in 2023, a marginal improvement on 2022 (23rd). Ireland ranked 10th among the EU-27 and continues to perform significantly better under innovation outputs (18th) compared to innovation inputs (26th).

    In Ireland’s Competitiveness Challenge 2023, the NCPC recommended that research be undertaken to provide a more robust view of Ireland’s performance across the various dimensions of innovation, that recognises the specificities of Ireland’s economic model. This NCPC Bulletin re-estimates Ireland’s performance in the GII 2023 using GNI* as a measure of national income. This results in a significantly different ranking of Ireland’s performance, namely 12th rather than 22nd, with the revised rankings for innovation outputs at 14th and for innovation inputs at 20th.

    When assessed in terms of GNI*, the gap between Ireland and the best performing countries closes considerably, particularly under ‘Business Sophistication’ (versus Sweden) and ‘Knowledge and Technology Outputs’ (versus Switzerland). ‘Market Sophistication’ remains the most challenging pillar for Ireland.

    While innovation indices provide an opportunity to better understand and to compare national innovation systems, they should be carefully contextualised within the structures and complexity of individual economies. This Bulletin shows that, re-estimating the GII in line with GNI* results in a significant improvement in Ireland’s innovation performance in an international context.

    The Bulletin is available here.