By Daniel Hunter

The UK has been named as the fourth most innovative market in the world by General Electrics (GE).

Research from GE, which is one of the UK's biggest industrial employers, found that the UK offers businesses a good environment to innovate, grow and compete in the global marketplace.

Ranked by the country's own business community, it sits behind USA, Germany and Japan. Compared with last year's results, the UK saw the biggest rise, indicating a growth confidence in the country's economy and business prospects.

However, when executives in 26 countries around the world were asked to name their innovation exemplar, China and South Korea leapfrog the UK and the country fell down to sixth.

UK government support for innovation is a highlight, the research said. The perception of how effectively the government channels funding towards supporting innovation has seen a 50% increase year on year rising from 24% in 2013 to 37% today. Recent policies have indicated that the government is keen to promote and prioritize UK innovation. 26,000 of England’s most promising mid-sized businesses are set to receive aid from the UK Innovation fund. This perhaps explains the high levels of confidence in the UK as an innovation-conducive market.

Mark Elborne, President & CEO of GE UK & Ireland commented: “With an increasingly competitive global marketplace, innovation is crucial. It’s reassuring that businesses believe the UK is a good place to innovate and that they are supported by government policies and funding. However, we must ensure that this support is easy to access, to allow fleet-of-foot technology development and deployment, as well as continuing to nurture skills and talent through STEM subjects from an early age.”

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