Australia has ranked 8th in the world in its use of ICT, according to the 2014 Global Innovation Index (GII) launched in Sydney today.\nSweden ranked first, followed by South Korea, Denmark and Finland.\nThe GII surveyed 143 worldwide economies around the world using 81 indicators to gauge their innovation capabilities and measurable results. It is compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization, INSEAD Business School, and Johnson Cornell University.\nAustralia was 21st in the rankings for ICT access, 9th in government online services, and 8th in e-participation, according to the index.\nAustralia\u2019s overall ranking in the index was 17th compared to 19th last year, bumped up by strong performances in education, research and development, and infrastructure where we ranked inside the top 10 in each category.\nHow tech IP is going to put Australia on the world innovation map\nSmart cities: using data to shape our urban environments\nVirtual reality, mobility driving future of learning at Port Macquarie school\nBruno Lanvin, executive director of INSEAD\u2019s European Competitiveness Initiative (IECI), said there is a high degree of stability in the top 20 economies ranked in the index.\nThat is reassuring for economies at the top but worrying for emerging economies not in the top 20, Lanvin said.\n\u201cWe see a divide which seems to be stronger and stronger every year, at least it\u2019s not reducing as fast as we were hoping it might reduce. China continues to make headway \u2013 ranking in the top 20 for the first time this year \u2013 but the majority of developing countries are remaining behind the median,\u201d he said.\nThis divide is particularly visible in countries like India where \u201cdozens of millions\u201d of students need to be brought up to a level where they can start becoming innovators, said Lanvin.\n\u201cThe sheer quantity, the size of the challenge to be faced, explains why this divide remains so visible,\u201d he said.\nThere was some good news for developing nations, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of \u2018innovation learners\u2019 is higher than any other part of the world.\n\u201cSo something is happening even in the poorest parts of the globe regarding innovation. Governments are taking notice, efforts are being made and people are given more opportunities to translate innovation into success,\u201d he said.\nLanvin said economies will need to prepare people for jobs that haven\u2019t been defined today.\n\u201cThink about [areas] like business analytics and big data as they were defined five years ago compared to what is happening today,\u201d he said.\nTechnological innovation in areas like food production will be crucial and if innovation does not translate into these areas where we face the biggest challenges, it would have failed, he said.\nMeanwhile, broadband services will be important for continued innovation particularly in countries with large geographical areas like Australia, said Lanvin.\n\u201cWhere you have to combine the potential of various universities and businesses across such as wide country, you want to be able to work in real time.\nIt has been calculated by The World Bank that an increase in broadband infrastructure has a direct implication on GDP growth. And this is not been contradicted yet.\nSo we have many reasons to believe that investing in broadband is contributing to the performance of innovation,\u201d he said.\nAustralia\u2019s minister for industry, Ian Macfarlane, added that the political debate in Australia has not been about connecting business to business with fibre and \u2018everyone accepts that.\u2019\n\u201cThere is a side argument about how much business should pay for that but that has not been the political argument.\n\u201c[The argument] has been whether or not we have to give individual households in every household access to 100Mbps and whether or not that\u2019s an overkill, whether or not they can survive on 40Mbps \u2026 and only get time to boil the water not make the coffee before the movie is downloaded,\u201d he said.