U.S. and China Most Promising Tech Innovators in Next Four Years: KPMG Survey

Technology executives worldwide believe that the United States and China are the top two countries with the greatest potential to drive technology breakthroughs that will have a global impact in the next four years, according to the Global Technology Innovation survey by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm.

KPMG surveyed 811 technology business leaders globally from technology industry startups, mid-sized to large enterprises, venture capital firms and angel investors in order to identify disruptive technologies, innovation trends, and the scope of change.

In a change from last year’s survey, 37 percent of the respondents said the United States shows the most promise for disruptive breakthroughs, while 24 percent cited China, and 10 percent predicted India, followed by Korea (7 percent), Japan (6 percent) and Israel (6 percent). The U.S. and China tied for the top spot in the 2012 survey.  

« The 2012 results reflected some uncertainty in the U.S.’s long-standing position as a technology innovation leader but over the past 12 months, the continued growth in the U.S. tech sector and improvement in the U.S. economy has removed much of that uncertainty, » said Gary Matuszak, global chair, KPMG’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice.                               

« China continues to innovate at impressive speed. We believe that domestic consumption in the country will drive the majority of new innovation. China will innovate for China’s sake. This is supported by Chinese consumers who are driving the desire for local brands, which are unique to this market, » said Egidio Zarrella, Partner, Clients and Innovation Consulting, KPMG China « We see Chinese organizations increasingly establishing innovation hubs where their research and development can thrive. We believe this will also help to bridge any gaps where Chinese brands may face difficulties when looking to expand into the global market. »

Countries’ innovation confidence index

This year the KPMG survey debuts a confidence index gauging each country’s prospects for tech innovation. The index is based on tech leaders in each market rating their country on ten success factors including talent, infrastructure, incentives, and capital. 

Of the 10 factors assessed globally in this technology innovation confidence index, the highest marks on average were given for talent supply and technology infrastructure. The lowest rating was for government incentives, judged weak by more than one-third (36 percent) globally.

India grabbed the country lead with an index of 72. The high confidence India’s technology leaders have in their own country’s prospects spans several of the 10 factors. High marks were given for talent, mentoring, ability to drive customer adoption, technology breakthroughs, and technology infrastructure with the lowest rating reserved for government incentives.

« India topping the innovation confidence index is a confirmation of business leaders’ faith in the country’s technological capabilities. Despite several concerns on data privacy and local technological infrastructure, the outlook for the sector is largely positive, » said Pradeep Udhas, Head of Markets, KPMG India. « The government can assist the technology sector by enabling easier access to capital through investor friendly policies and strengthening IP protection laws. »

Israel ranked second (71), as the country received high ratings from its tech business leaders for technology breakthroughs, talent, technology infrastructure, and mentoring and access to innovation network, while government incentives earned the lowest rating.

The U.S. ranked third with an index of 65, as U.S. respondents judged their own country’s tech prowess the strongest in tech infrastructure, access to alliances and partnerships, talent, and technology breakthroughs, and weakest in educational system and government incentives. China’s score of 64 was driven by its highest marks in talent, capital, and mentoring and access to innovation network but China’s tech leaders rated their country low on educational system.
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