Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Finland, the world's most technologically advanced country - UN report

Finland ranks first in the world, ahead of the USA, as the world's most technologically advanced country, according to a recent report compiled by the United Nations development programme (UNDP).

The report compared 72 countries and analysed them on the basis a TAI (technolog...
Finland, the world's most technologically advanced country - UN report
Finland ranks first in the world, ahead of the USA, as the world's most technologically advanced country, according to a recent report compiled by the United Nations development programme (UNDP).

The report compared 72 countries and analysed them on the basis a TAI (technological achievement index). This looked at factors such as the technological skills of citizens, the extent of Internet use and ability to use technology in a network economy. Specifically, the percentage of patents granted to residents, receipts of royalties and license fees, number of Internet hosts, percentage of high and medium technology exports, number of telephones, consumption of electricity, average number of school years and gross tertiary science enrolment ratio were the key criteria.

After Finland, other countries which featured at the top of the list were the USA, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, and the UK. The other European Union countries that were included in the top section, named 'leaders', were Germany, Ireland, Belgium, Austria and France.

In addition to gauging the technology impact in the country as a whole, the report also looked for 'technology centres of global significance'. Although a large proportion of these were in the USA (13), Finland again features, with two areas mentioned - the capital city area of Helsinki and Oulu.

Other sections which were analysed in the report included investment in technology creation, which looked at research and development (R&D) expenditure and scientists and engineers in R&D. Norway ranked first in this area, with Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Finland also coming in the top ten. Exactly the same countries feature in the top ten of the diffusion of technology in information and communications and the agriculture and manufacturing sections.

The overall objective of the report was to illustrate that information technology could reduce poverty. 'Ignoring technological breakthroughs in medicine, agriculture and information will mean missing opportunities to transform the lives of poor people,' said UNDP administrator Mark Malloch Brown. But one of the conclusions of the report is that so far most private sector initiatives in high technology have been geared towards high income consumers rather than the poor, highlighted by 80 per cent of the world's Internet users being in the developed world and only 10 per cent of global health research focusing on the illnesses that constitute 90 per cent of the global disease burden.

Source: United Nations
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top