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News blog1 July 2020Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises2 min read

Latin America - Beyond the global innovation index: Implications for Latin American innovation and future perspectives


Every year the World Intellectual Property Organization, Cornell University and the European Institute ESADE issue the Global Innovation Index (GII)[1]. This report measures several factors regarding the growth of 129 countries in relation to their development in research and their input and output of innovation.

The indicators show how the countries position themselves in the global innovation stage, based on their investment in education, science and innovative technology, which leads to the introduction of new technologies in the market that are beneficial to the economy. The registration of intellectual property rights, such as patents, trade marks and designs, helps WIPO determine if a specific jurisdiction has evolved in terms of modernisation.

The 2019 GII focused on the future of medical innovation and the observable trends in this sector. Specific attention was given to the advances in the fields of stems cell, genomics and gene editing research, as well as pain treatments and nanotechnology. The study revealed Switzerland was at the forefront of research in this sector, while in Latin America Chile leads the way, followed by Costa Rica and Mexico

Brazil was ranked the 66thColombia 67th and Peru ended up in the 69th place[2] out of 129. Latin American countries still need to continue fostering innovation.

Moreover, it was outlined that there is a growing demand for new medical devices that apply Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. This can represent a business alternative for companies that want to enter the Latin American market, considering there still is a significant need for such improvements in the health technology sector.

The data gathered in the GII also allowed to reflect on the state of IP registration and protection at the national IP offices.

A remarkable lesson that can be taken from the ranking is that most Latin American countries are similar in that the majority of patent applications are filed by foreign applicants. For example, in Colombia, in 2019 non-residents presented 1,548 patent applications as opposed to the 375 filed by local entities[3].

In Chile, the situation is similar: in the last year, US applicants filed around 7,650 patent applications, while the second largest applicant group, the Chilean applicants, had around 3,320 applications filed before the INAPI[4].







Lucia Tamayo Del Portillo

Legal Advisor – Colombian Organics


Publication date
1 July 2020
Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises