The annual Global Innovation Index – compiled by World Intellectual Property Organisation, Cornell University and INSEAD – ranks 129 world economies on 80 parameters including research, technology and creativity.
Switzerland was closely followed by Sweden and the United States, with Israel rounding out the top ten.
The index looks at over 80 indicators ranging from the regulatory environment (where Switzerland came seventh) to gross expenditure on research and development (fourth overall) and mobile app creation (Switzerland came 15th here).
Switzerland did less well on metrics including ease of starting a business (62nd overall), ease of obtaining credit (66th) and women employed with advanced degrees (28th).
India, where the announcement was made, was ranked 52nd but has leapt up the rankings in recent years, WIPO assistant director-general Naresh Prasad said.
The report came as the International Monetary Fund downgraded global growth and warned of a “precarious” 2020 amid trade tensions, continued uncertainty and rising prospects for a no-deal Brexit.
The report's authors said spending on innovation was still growing and appeared resilient despite the slowdown.
But they also warned of signs of waning public support for research and development in high-income economies usually responsible for pushing the innovation envelope, and increased protectionism.
“In particular, protectionism that impacts technology-intensive sectors and knowledge flows poses risks to global innovation networks and innovation diffusion,” the report said.
“If left uncontained, these new obstacles to international trade, investment, and workforce mobility will lead to a slowdown of growth in innovation productivity and diffusion across the globe.”