There is a paradox in the notion of Kiwi ingenuity that lies in a disparity between our ability to invent and to implement. There appears to be no shortage of ideas in this country of ours, but there is a significant paucity of those ideas being brought to scale on a global level.
We New Zealanders are an inventive lot. This is reflected in our ranking in a number of different indexes. For example, in The Global Creativity Index 2011, we rank sixth and in the 2012 Economist Intelligence Unit Creative Productivity Index, that analyses creativity and innovation in Asia, we again rank sixth.
However, in The Global Innovation Index 2014 report, while New Zealand ranks eighth for local patents, we only come in at number 19 for filing overseas applications. Business analyst Alan Main suggests this failure matters: New Zealand has a 22% conversion rate of local to international patents, compared to Singapore, where the number is 81%, Finland, 58%, and Denmark’s and Ireland’s 42%.