According to the recently published Global Innovation Index 2018, the gap between low-income economies and middle-income economies has reduced in the past year. Despite public R&D spending around the world still being lower than it was before the global financial crisis, this gives us a reason to be optimistic about the future. A growth in knowledge and technology outputs – including patents and utility models – has been a key contributor as well as improvements in infrastructure, market sophistication and creative outputs.

Minesoft has been involved in the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) ASPI programme since it was launched almost 10 years ago. Through this programme we have been providing free or low-cost access to our powerful online patent database, PatBase, to developing countries around the world. It’s a testament to the success of the programme to see that in the top 10 best-ranked economies in the low-income group, 6 currently benefit from free access to PatBase.

Moreover, Kenya is celebrating its 8th consecutive year as an innovation achiever with countries including Malawi, Georgia, Colombia and Tunisia following in their footsteps – all with either free or low-cost access to PatBase! As an Intellectual Property service provider, our company ethos is to drive innovation forward on a global scale, something that will have a positive impact on us all.

The global landscape of investment in science, technology and in education has been undergoing positive shifts over the last 30 years. Innovation, research and development are seen as important investment areas in both developed and developing economies across the globe. Building on this movement, and overcoming the global innovation divide, there is potential to ramp up innovation in most middle-income economies as well as to progressively increase innovation in low-income economies.