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National Success
CNBC.com | September 19, 2011 | 10:12 AM EDT

Two influential studies this summer that rank nations in terms of their innovative policies may underscore that point, as they both show traditional powerhouses slipping in favor of smaller, far-flung rivals.

"The ability to innovate is the great equalizer in the global economy,” says Shumeet Banerji, CEO of global consulting firm Booz & Co. “In the industrial era, nations relied on their natural resources to compete. Today, any country can advance with carefully focused investments in talent and R&D."

Booz helps produce the annual Global Innovation Index, whose chief editor is Dutta and covers 125 economies that account for 98 percent of the world’s economic output .

Current Leaders

Here are its top 10 for 2011: Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland, Denmark, the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, and the U.K.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), also released in July, ranks countries based on their innovation and competitiveness.

Its top 10 list: Singapore, Finland, Sweden, the U.S., South Korea, the U.K., Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Japan.

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