The Aussies have outdone us in this year's Global Innovation Index, rising three places to 17th, knocking us down a peg from 17th to 18th.
New Zealand rated well in political stability, effective government, press freedom, the ease of starting a business, the number of new businesses among the population aged 15-64, and education. It also ranked highly in tertiary enrolment, ease of protecting investors, and ease of getting credit.
But it was poorly rated in developing innovation clusters, foreign direct investmnet outflows as a percentage of GDP, and creative goods exports as a percentage of total trade.
We ranked fifth among six innovation leaders in Asia Pacific and were listed fourth among high the top 10 high income economies for education as a human aspect of innovation.
The index covered 143 economies globally and uses 81 indicators across a range of themes.
The top 10 economies this year are Switzerland, the UK, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, the US, Singapore, Denmark, Luxembourg and Hong Kong (China). Nine of these were already in the index's top 10 last year.
The report authors say there's a persistent global innovation divide, with all the top 25 economies in the high income group.