Innovation for Hong Kong's Upward Social Mobility

14 Sweden Israel Finland Mainland China Singapore Hong Kong 2016 2 12 7 6 10 30 2017 3 9 10 4 11 25 2018 3 7 8 5 11 26 2019 2 6 9 5 11 33 2020 2 4 6 7 14 54 2.1.2 Global R&D capabilities: Knowledge and technology output competitiveness is the sixth pillar of the Global Innovation Index (Table 1.1), which reflects the impact of knowledge creation and innovation activities at the micro and macro economic levels, and the absorption of knowledge. Despite Hong Kong’s encouraging overall ranking of 11 in the Global Innovation Index 2020, Hong Kong’s ranking in terms of competitiveness in knowledge and technology output is still very low (Table 2.1), let alone its score in 2020 being the lowest in the past five years. This exposed Hong Kong’s shortcomings in patents and the value generated by high-tech exports. Table 2.1 Ranking of Selected Economies in the Global Innovation Index in Terms of Their Knowledge and Technology Output Competitiveness from 2016 to 202017 2.1.3 The gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) as a percentage of GDP is an internationally recognized evaluation indicator that reflects the economy’s scientific and technological R&D investment and technological competitiveness. On a global scale, the GERD as a percentage of GDP averages 2.27%18. Hong Kong’s figure remains low, at less than 1%, well below the global average and other developed economies such as Israel (4.95%), Sweden (3.30%), Finland (2.77%), Mainland China (2.19%) and Singapore (1.60%) (Table 2.2). 2.1.4 In terms of R&D personnel, Hong Kong’s research talent pool is relatively limited. In 2018, Hong Kong had 4,026 researchers per million people, which is much lower than the figures of comparable economies such as Sweden (7,536) and Finland (6,861) (Table 2.2). Hong Kong’s excellent education system can train R&D personnel, but the market lacks career opportunities suitable for R&D personnel. This has caused difficulties in maintaining the development of research talents and led to a shortage of talents. 17 WIPO, Global Innovation Index 2016-2020 18 WorldBank, Research and development expenditure (% of GDP), 2 Current Status of Hong Kong’s Technology and Innovation Industries