India's position among global innovators fell by 10 places to 76th spot in this year's Global Innovation Index (GII), the annual ranking co-published by Cornell University INSEAD and World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), a UN agency.
The GII is the ranking of world economies' innovation capabilities and results. This year's ranking is themed the 'Human Factor in Innovation', exploring "the role of the individuals and teams behind the innovation process".
Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea remain the only Asian economies in the top 20 in this year's GII Index.
China and Malaysia show remarkable strengths and are the only upper-middle income countries inching closer to the top 25.
"To become a country qualified as an 'innovation learner' in the GII, the policy makers need to identify and focus on the areas that will help propel their performance on innovation inputs and outputs relative to their peers and to excel beyond what is expected from them considering their level of development," said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The GII 2014 shows the global innovation divide still exists. Despite some notable gains, less-innovative economies have difficulty keeping up with higher-ranking nations, partly due to an inability to grow and retain adequate human resource capabilities.
Despite large innovation-related stimulus packages following the global financial crisis, R&D expenditure seems to have lost momentum in rich countries.
This is the opportunity for countries like India to focus on strong R&D expenditure growth, which is expected to be led by Asia in 2013 and 2014.