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S. Korea breaks six-year winning streak on Bloomberg Innovation Index

South Korea ranked No. 2 on the Bloomberg Innovation Index this year, putting an abrupt halt to its six-year winning streak, government data showed Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Korea scored 88.16 points this year, slipping a notch from last year, but has remained in the top three for nine consecutive years.

Germany took the crown this year with a score of 88.21 points, switching places with Korea. Singapore was next, rebounding to No. 3.

The annual Bloomberg Innovation Index uses dozens of criteria and seven metrics, including concentration of research and development, value-added manufacturing, education efficiency and density of high-tech public companies. This year’s assessment involved 60 nations.

The Finance Ministry cited declines in “relative productivity” and “educational efficiency” as the reason for Korea’s slip.

“Korea and Germany have maintained a close margin in terms of total scores, as both saw gains … this year,” it said in its report.

“We fell down a notch due to a relative slump in productivity and educational efficiency stemming from difficult situations within and outside the country,” it added, without elaborating.

Korea has remained No. 2 in R&D concentration and No. 4 in density of high-tech public companies. In terms of productivity, it fell to No. 29 from No. 18 during the same period. In added value for manufacturing, Korea slid down one notch to No. 3.

In line with the index, the government vowed to expand and accelerate growth in innovation via its “four plus one” pillars -- the first four being improvement in key industries, fostering startups and new businesses, R&D innovation and expansion of innovational workforce and finance. The “plus one” part of the plan is innovation of systems and infrastructure, according to the ministry.

“We will continue to boost our innovation capability based on active communication with the actual scene and pursue policies to bolster our nation’s competitiveness,” it said.

By Jung Min-kyung (
Korea Herald Youtube