By Oh Hyun-woo and Kim Minji
Korea has topped for the sixth straight year the Bloomberg Innovative Index as the world's most innovative nation.
Bloomberg News on Jan. 22 said the country maintained the No. 1 spot with an 87.38 score in the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which ranks innovation by a country's spending as a percentage of GDP on R&D intensity, manufacturing value-added, productivity, high-tech density, tertiary efficiency, researcher concentration and patent activity.
Korea ranked second in R&D intensity and manufacturing value-added, fourth in high-tech density, and seventh in tertiary efficiency and researcher concentration.
"In the Bloomberg Index, Germany almost caught six-time champion South Korea on the strength of added-value from manufacturing and research intensity," the report said.
"Although South Korea extended its winning streak, its lead narrowed in part because of lower scores in patent activity."
The Ministry of Economy and Finance said, "Korea retained such high scores thanks to the joint efforts of the government and corporations to continue expanding R&D investment and pushing forward economic policies for innovation-driven growth, despite harsh economic conditions home and abroad."
The country's R&D expenditures as a percentage of GDP was 4.55 percent, one of the world's highest. In 2017, Korea ranked fifth in R&D spending.