"Switzerland comes in at top place in the overall GII 2011 rankings (up from position 4th last year) on the basis of its strong position in both the Input and Output Sub- Indices (3rd and 2nd, respectively). Although the country does not top any individual pillar, it places within the top 5 in three Input pillars (Institutions, Market and Business sophistication) and both Output pillars (Scientific outputs and Creative outputs)."
Source: INSEAD (2011) Global Innovation Index
Another interesting point to examine is where China is positioned on the scales of R&D users and R&D importers. From the LiftLab, this is part of a post by Marc Laperrouza on his "Time to look east" blog. Marc pulled out this chart and made the comment below.
"As with many synthetic indexes, it is always worthwhile to dig further into the data. It turns out that China has a number of strengths and weaknesses. Among the former, the report lists patent applications, gross capital formation, high-tech imports and exports (a large majority are MNC-driven).
Among the latter, one can find regulatory quality, press freedom and time to start a business. True enough, both business and market sophistication have notably increased over the years and so has scientific output.If China aims to reach the top 20 or higher it will have to work hard (and fast) on its institutions."