Quantitative indicators for country-level innovation ecosystems

By Michael Quinn Hogan, Michael Gallaher

Innovation has been shown to be a key factor in determining a country’s competitiveness and economic growth potential. Through investments in education and research and development, many developing countries have tried to avoid the “middle income trap” of stagnation by working to create high-value employment opportunities. To better understand country-level readiness to innovate, we have compiled a set of publicly available data indicators and created a data tool to illustrate innovation capabilities and infrastructure by country. Our approach builds on and advances existing national innovation metrics by constructing transparent, publicly sourced indicators that emphasize changes over time and interrelationships between different indicators, as opposed to creating simple indices across groups of indicators. This occasional paper is targeted to an applied audience, explaining the methods used to assemble the data, an overview of the indicators, practical applications of the data, summary statistics, and data limitations. The data are not intended to be a tool for providing answers about innovation, but rather a starting point for future work including market landscaping, country-level diagnostics, and qualitative protocols for research.


Hogan, M. Q., & Gallaher, M. (2018). Quantitative indicators for country-level innovation ecosystems. (RTI Press Publication No. OP-0051-1805). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2018.op.0051.1805

© 2019 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Michael Quinn HoganMichael Hogan, MCRP, is an economist at RTI International.

Michael GallaherMichael Gallaher, PhD. is Senior Director of Economics at RTI International.

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