‘2020 GE Global Innovation Barometer’ – AI will impact the productivity and growth of today and future 

‘2020 GE Global Innovation Barometer’ – AI will impact the productivity and growth of today and future 

“AI will impact the productivity and growth of today and future” 

– 2020 GE Global Innovation Barometer


  • AI as a catalyst for innovation. Innovations are becoming customized and tailored, with AI being the key enabler to improve ability to tailor to the customer

  • The role of innovation in creating sustainable futures and impact at a societal level is a key measure of success

  • Business as the main driver of innovation not the government

  • The internal optimism for innovation conduciveness is growing in Korea


October 15, 2020, Seoul – GE today unveiled the results of ‘The 2020 GE Global Innovation Barometer: A Quest for Innovation Agency’, a survey that explores how business leaders in the world including Korea perceive innovation.

According to the survey, the global business leaders recognize that it is important to innovate from a long-term perspective rather than short-term profits or trends, creating a sustainable future and exerting a good impact on society and the environment.  In addition, in the era of digital transformation, advanced digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are considered as playing a key role in driving future innovation.

Chris Khang, President and CEO of GE Korea said, “Amidst the growing challenges of the global business environment such as trade disputes and protectionism, which have continued before the outbreak of COVID-19 and the pandemic, leaders are becoming more aware of sustainable growth and the innovation with social and environmental value. We can also see that companies are emphasizing ESG (environmental, social, governance) management.” He then added, “In preparation for the post-COVID-19 era, we need to take a long-term, planned approach for innovation with innovative technologies such as AI and software that is well aligned with the government’s digital New Deal policy so that the innovation can actually bring the result for our industry and society.”

The GE Global Innovation Barometer is the opinion survey that is conducted since 2011 to identify changing perceptions of innovation among business executives around the world. This year, 2,307 executives from 22 countries and 1,004 science and engineering students from 10 countries participated. In Korea, 100 executives took part in the survey.

Below are the highlights of the 2020 GE Global Innovation Barometer Report.


AI will drive smarter, faster, and leaner innovation

Korea, a leader in AI adoption

Executives around the world believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will have a major impact on growth and productivity now and in the future. In particular, Korea, as one of the leading countries actively adopting artificial intelligence (AI), showed a positive prospect on AI. 71% of Korean business executives participating in the survey (a global average of 69%) said that AI creates jobs. 73% of Korean executives said that their companies are leading or learning AI, responding well to AI adoption and growth in the industry. This is slightly higher than the global average (70%). When asked whether AI is actually positively affecting business profitability, 41% of Korean executives answered yes, showing a higher response rate than the global average (29%) while over half of this group (55%) said it has had a positive impact on how efficiently their company operates.


The role of innovation in creating sustainable futures and impact at a societal level is a key measure of success

There was a lot of recognition that future innovation should be approached from a long-term and sustainable perspective. Business executives around the world, including Korea (68% global, 65% Korea), agreed that innovation should be prioritized not as short-term profitability and a business goal to achieve it, but as a direction that has a positive social and environmental impact from a long-term perspective.

In particular, executives around the world say that the companies should demonstrate the value of innovation for society at large (72% globally, 55% Korea), and create innovations with a better sustainable footprint such as developing products with a longer lifespan and reducing waste in the short term (72% globally, 48% Korea).  Science and Engineering (STEM) students globally, who are added to this year’s survey also answered that innovation is a solution that benefits society and societal outcomes including environmental outcomes, indicating that future leaders also appreciate the social and environmental value of innovation.

Business as the main driver of innovation, not the government

Transformation of the innovation model, from one size fits all to customer-oriented customized innovation

These innovations should be driven by business.  8 out of 10 Korean executives (83%) believe business, and not the government should be driving the innovation agenda.  While large enterprises (31%) are chosen as the main driver of innovation in Korea, MNCs are seen as the most common driver of innovation globally (chosen by 20%).

Eight out of 10 Korean executives (83%) say that today’s innovation is becoming more customized and tailored to what the customer needs.  Two-thirds (68%) of respondents believe that a ‘one size fits all model’ no longer fits. In addition, big data, artificial intelligence, and a new generation of innovation were pointed out as major factors driving such customized innovation.


Positive view on Korea’s innovation conducive environment

The internal optimism for innovation conduciveness is growing in Korea. 49% of Korean executives said that Korea has developed as an innovation conducive environment, an increase of 23%pts. compared to the 26% response in 2014.  In particular, the Asian and Middle Eastern markets such as Korea, and also China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India and Malaysia, and etc. are seeing growing confidence in their innovation environment.

Korea was ranked 5th this year as a leading innovation country, maintaining the 5th position since 2013. It should be noted that although the United States (US) remains the No. 1 innovation country, the US recognition of the innovation country is gradually decreasing (4 % pts. drop from 2018), while China’s recognition of the innovation country is rising (5% pts. increase from 2018), taking the second place, surpassing Japan, and continues to close the gap on the US as an innovator.


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About GE Global Innovation Barometer

The GE Global Innovation Barometer survey was commissioned by GE and conducted by ‘Edelman Intelligence’ targeting 2307 business executives from 22 countries around the world. The countries included in the survey are Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, and the UAE, and many more. This year, for the first time, 1,004 STEM students from 10 countries studying science, engineering, and mathematics were included in the survey.


About GE and GE Korea

GE (NYSE:GE) drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges. By combining world-class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of the industry, and today it leads to new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse, and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfill GE’s mission and deliver for our customers. www.ge.com

In Korea, since its official launch in 1976, GE Korea has been working as a long-term partner in industrial development by cooperating with Korean companies in the fields of advanced infrastructure and healthcare technology and services. GE Korea provides advanced technologies and services through manufacturing, R&D, and operation activities in the power generation, power transmission and distribution, aviation, and healthcare. For more information, visit www.ge.com/kr, www.gereports.kr