General Electric (GE) Thursday unveils the results of its "2013 Global Innovation Barometer," with China moving up to the third most innovative country, surpassing Japan for the first time.
The report showed that while business executives continue to value innovation as a strategic priority, one in three respondents are concerned about their ability to maintain competitiveness in a faster paced, more globalized and resource-constrained environment.
"Since the global financial crisis, we have worried that economic volatility will weaken the consensus behind free and open international trade. The report suggests that even among business leaders the siren song of protectionism may at times be difficult to resist," said Karan Bhatia, vice president and senior counsel for global government affairs and policy at GE.
However, the report indicated Chinese enterprises prefer open markets whereas Korea, Brazil, Russia, Australia, UK and Japan tend to draw support from domestic market.
The survey discovered collaboration between businesses is emerging as a means to surpass competitors and generate revenue, particularly in emerging markets. Germany, China, Brazil and Sweden are most experienced at partnership, and 41 percent of Chinese companies' revenue come form collaborative innovation.
Form the perspective of governmental policy environment, 66 percent of business executives regard China's innovation environment as strongly conducive. In China, government support is the strongest pillar of its capacity for innovation, scoring 17 points above the global average.
Talent has been consistently identified as a critical concern for innovation leaders across the globe. Forty-one percent believe restrictions on access to foreign talent are increasing, but China 's innovation policy is more foreign-talent friendly.
The report summarized that China's environment is conducive to innovation. Flexible and diversified business models, strong government support, talent strategy without a certain pattern and openness to international collaboration are four advantages of China's successful innovation.
However, there are still some problems. Businesses lack confidence in challenging generally accepted practices and ways of working; the innovation ability and passion of small and medium sized enterprises and individuals is not well released; efficiency of governmental broad support for innovation, protection of confidentiality and intellectual property, and the ability of Chinese universities to prepare the next generation of innovative leaders still need to be improved.
GE's Global Innovation Barometer was commissioned by GE and conducted by research company StrategyOne, through interviewing 3, 100 senior business executives across 25 countries.