India climbed 15 spots, from 81 last year, to 66 in the Global Innovation Index (GII) and maintained the top spot in the Central and South Asia regions, according to the rankings released on Monday by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, the US, Finland and Singapore lead the 2016 GII rankings. This year, China joined the world’s 25 most-innovative economies, becoming the first middle-income country to enter the top 25 of the index in its nine editions of surveying the innovative capacity of over 100 economies.

India scored high on tertiary education and R&D, the quality of its universities and scientific publications, its market sophistication and information and communication technology service exports, where it ranks first in the world, according to the index.

The index said that India has all the ingredients needed to become a global driver of innovation including strong market potential, an excellent talent pool, and an underlying culture of frugal innovation. India ranks second on innovation quality among middle-income economies, overtaking Brazil. “Relative weaknesses exist in the indicators for business environment, education expenditures, new business creations and the creative goods and services production,” it said.

“Digital has become a primary driver of strategy development and innovation for business in almost all sectors. I am convinced we are only at the beginning. Notably for established organizations, the challenge lies in finding ways to successfully innovate by using and transforming existing resources and business practices,” said Johan Aurik, managing partner and chairman of GII’s knowledge partner A.T. Kearney, in a press release.

The index said that India has the ability to create a unique spot in innovation history to meet its own market requirements by using its cultural advantages of frugality and sustainability. Stressing that India’s priorities for innovation need to be in the areas of energy, water, transport, health care, food security and digital consumption, the index said that India should strengthen its own talent pool and leverage global talent “in these market-pull areas”.

“The commitment of India to innovation and improved innovation metrics is strong and growing, helping to improve the innovation environment. This trend will help gradually lift India closer to other top-ranked innovation economies,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry.