According to an updated ranking of an Economist Intelligence Unit report called "the world’s most innovative countries," Israel is rated the ninth most innovative country globally in 2008, and is forecast to rise further to win the eighth position sometime between 2009 and 2013.
The innovation index ranks 82 countries based on their innovation capacity and forecasts their performance through 2013. The new rankings largely confirm the forecasts of the original research done in 2007. The forecast for 2009-13 takes into consideration the severe business downturn and the global economic crisis, which will have a negative impact on countries’ long-term ability to innovate.
According to the Economist, the current financial turmoil is expected to affect innovation worldwide through a reduction in significant drivers of innovation such as investment in research and development (R&D), spending on training and education and the quality of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure. The crisis will also have a negative impact on other aspects of the environment that enable innovation globally, including access to finance for firms, conditions for entrepreneurship, and economic and political stability.
Recent data shows, however, that Israeli innovation continues to be boosted by a steady flow of foreign direct investment, which reached a near-record high of over $10 billion in 2008. The Israeli market also continues to be a highly favored destination for some of the world's most successful companies. According to the Israeli media, in June alone visits are expected by among others Hewlett Packard CEO Mark Hurd, Oracle President and CFO Safra Catz, Dell CEO and Founder Michael Dell, and chief software architect at Microsoft Ray Ozzie.