According to the latest Global Innovation Index, just released in Geneva in Switzerland, while Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States and the UK remain the world's most-innovative countries, China is gradually catching up.

Global Innovation Index 2017 report [Photo: China Plus]

As the first-ever middle-income country to join the world's top 25 innovative economies last year, China continues to move up the list, jumping three places this year.

A closer look at the statistics shows that China in 22nd position overall this year - moves up one spot to 16th position in terms of innovation quality, and has retained its position for the fifth consecutive year as the top middle-income economy.

This movement can be attributed to a number of indicators, including domestic market scale, knowledge workers, patents by origin, high-tech exports, and industrial designs by origin.

Francis Gurry, Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization is full of praise for China's global performance in the past two years.

"China significantly rose from 25 to 22. That is very significant because the first 20 or 25 highest performances in the Global Innovation Index tend to be industrialized developed countries, Europe, North America and Japan. And what we see with China is for the first time a middle income country coming into the mix of high income countries in terms of innovation performance and steady improvement all the time," he noted.

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry presents the Global Innovation Index 2017 at a press conference taking place at the United Nations Office at Geneva. [Photo: WIPO]

European countries take eight out of the top 10 places, with Switzerland keeping its No. 1 position for the seventh year in a row. It's followed by Sweden and the Netherlands; the latter leaping from ninth place last year to third in the 2017 rankings.

The United States remains at fourth, followed by the UK and Denmark. The rest of the top 10 are Singapore, Finland, Germany and Ireland.

The index findings also reveal a large gap between developed and developing nations. The difference in average scores between the two groups is expanding in many indicators including institutions, creative outputs, knowledge and technology outputs.

Soumitra Dutta is Dean of SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University. He says efforts to bridge the innovation divide must start with helping emerging economies understand their innovation strengths and weaknesses.

"Developing economies have to focus on policies and investment strategies to decrease the gap with rich economies, because the gap is a real gap," he said. "And at the same time we see examples of some countries that successfully close in gaps, so we need more of those successful closures of gap across the world."

List of 2017 Global Innovation Index top 25 [Photo: WIPO]

This year's Global Innovation Index took the theme "Innovation Feeding the World." It reviews the state of innovation in world agriculture and food systems.

The report foresees innovation as the key to sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management in the next decades, when agriculture and the food sector will face an enormous rise in global demand and increased competition for limited natural resources.

Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director for Global Indices at the European Institute of Business Administration said: "To face the pending food crisis, innovation has a critical role to play. We need to move from digital agriculture, by which drones, satellite base sensors, field robotics are spreading quickly, including to the emerging countries, to what I would call smart agriculture, we have to look not only at food production capabilities, but also distribution, transport, the challenge to alleviate the pressure on using natural resources, especially land and energy, while attending to the needs of the poorest."

Jointly released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University, and the European Institute of Business Administration, the 2017 Global Innovation Index is in its 10th year.

Using as many as 81 indicators ranging from patent filings to education spending, the index provides detailed metrics about the innovation performance of some 130 countries and economies around the world each year.

The rankings are now a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policy makers and others who seek insight into the state of innovation around the world.

Source by:


 Founded by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), the new companies will be a key part of the approval and implementation process of the new nuclear technology which will power a number of British stations.

The news is being seen as a display of confidence by CGN that the projects remain feasible, despite the UK's imminent exit from the European Union.


As we reported in May, there had been fears that the Brexit process, which also includes the UK leaving the European nuclear regulatory body Euratom, would lead to long delays in the certification of new technology.


Alongside the three new companies, EDF from France and CGN have together formed General Nuclear Services (GNS). GNS will work on a number of new nuclear power projects in the UK, including at Hinkley Point C and Bradwell in Essex.


These projects represent an investment worth billions of pounds by GNS, and so any delay caused by Brexit would not have been welcome.


The technology behind the new power stations is, however, progressing well. The Chinese-designed HPR1000 nuclear reactor, which will power them, is starting the process of gaining UK certification.


That’s referred to as ‘General Design Assessment’ and is expected to take around four years to complete.


Source by:

WASHINGTON, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists on Thursday reported a successful transmission of "entangled" photon pairs from space to ground stations separated by 1,200 km, a major technical breakthrough towards quantum communication over great distances.

The study, published as a cover story by the U.S. journal Science, distributed such "entangled" photons, or light particles, from a satellite 500 km above the Earth's surface, known as Micius, which was launched last year and equipped with specialized quantum tools.

It's another effort to prove that a physical phenomenon once described by Albert Einstein as "spooky" exists at a large distance, and eventually on a global scale.

"This work lays a reliable technical foundation for large-scale quantum networking and quantum communication experimental research, as well as experimental testing of basic principles of physics, such as general theory of relativity and quantum gravity, in outer space in the future," Pan Jianwei, chief scientist for the quantum satellite project, told Xinhua.


Quantum entanglement, which Einstein referred to as "a spooky action at a distance," is a curious phenomenon in which particles are "linked" together in such a way that they affect one another regardless of distance. It is of great significance for secure communications, quantum computation and simulation, and enhanced metrology.

Yet, efforts to entangle quantum particles, such as photons, have been limited to about 100 km, mostly because the entanglement is lost as they are transmitted along optical fibers, or through open space on land, Pan said.

One way to overcome this issue is to break the line of transmission into smaller segments and use so-called quantum repeaters to repeatedly swap, purify and store quantum information along the optical fiber, while another approach is to make use of satellite-based technologies.

In the new study, Pan, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China, and his colleagues used the Chinese satellite Micius to demonstrate the latter feat.

The Micius satellite was used to communicate with two ground stations 1,203 km apart, located in Delingha in northwest China's Qinghai Province and Lijiang in Yunnan Province in southwest China, separately. The distance between the orbiting satellite and the two ground stations varies from 500 to 2,000 km.

By combining so-called narrow-beam divergence with a high-bandwidth and high-precision acquiring, pointing, and tracking technique to optimize link efficiency, the team established entanglement between two single photons, separated at a distance of over 1,200 km apart, for the first time, Pan said.

In addition, compared with previous methods using the best performance and most common commercial telecommunication fibers, the effective link efficiency of the satellite-based approach is 12 and 17 orders of magnitude higher respectively.


An immediate application of distributed entangled photons, said Pan, is for entanglement-based quantum key distribution to establish secure keys for quantum communication. Another is to exploit distributed entanglement to perform a variant of quantum teleportation protocol for remote preparation and control of quantum states.

According to Pan, peer reviewers of the paper praised his work as "a major technical accomplishment with potential practical applications as well as being of fundamental scientific importance" that "will have a very large impact, both within the scientific community and in the grand public."

A number of experts spoke highly of the new achievement from China.

This demonstration of the photon entanglement distribution from a satellite to very distant ground bases is "a giant step" forward in quantum information and quantum networking development, Alexander Sergienko, a quantum physicist at Boston University, told Xinhua.

"This is a heroic experiment because so many detrimental factors were working against researchers (and) attempting to destroy a quantum nature of the photonic entanglement in this landmark experiment," Sergienko said. "It is hard to overestimate the impact of this result on the development of modern quantum physics."

"Chinese researchers deserve a greatest praise and acknowledgement of their skills, persistence, and devotion to science," said Sergienko.

Seth Lloyd, director of the Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, expressed similar views, calling this work "a true breakthrough" in the technology of entanglement distribution.

"The experiment shows that long-range quantum communication is indeed technologically feasible and holds out the promise of the construction of long-range quantum communication networks in the near future," Lloyd told Xinhua.

Source by: