Innovators to watch 2022 [REPORT]

Today we release our annual Innovators to watch report, identifying the companies and institutions whose historical performance demonstrates potential entry to the annual list of Top 100 Global Innovators™ from Clarivate.

In essence, Innovators to watch is a list of the fastest rising organizations, those with high potential for future recognition as one of the world’s leading innovators.


In range, on a trajectory and new

Our process for identifying these organizations involves a simple overlay analysis of the current and past Top 100 Global Innovators rank of every longlisted company and institution. We measure:

  • whether the organization currently sits between rank 100 and rank 250.
  • the change in ranking since 2017 and today, and whether that change in rank is greater than their current gap to position 100.

We look for organizations that are in range of Top 100 status, and whose current trajectory over several years would see them enter in the next few years. In addition, the organization needs to be a new potential entrant to Top 100 Global Innovators, and not a previous recipient.

Using this same process last year, we saw six Innovators to watch identified in 2021 graduate to Top 100 Global Innovators status this year: AUO, Alibaba, GM, Hyundai Motor Company, PMI and TCL Technology.


A new data set to work with

In 2022, we made a fundamental change to the Top 100 Global Innovators calculation method. We switched from a top-down scoring of organizations’ patented innovation compared to other organizations that met the qualification criteria, to one which first compares every single invention individually, and only then compares performance.

“This year, Top 100 Global Innovators switched to a new model of excellence calculation, where all ideas compete equally.”

The effect of the Top 100 Global Innovators calculation change also changes the base data collection on which Innovators to watch is analyzed.

One of the benefits of the new Top 100 methodology is that it can be stepped in time, back to previous years, for the tens of millions of inventions globally then and now – and we can use that innovation model to measure the historical performance of an organization under the new 2022 methodology.

Using this new data set, Innovators to watch 2022 is different this year, expanding from 25 organizations last year to 37 that now meet the criteria.


The flavor of watched innovation

Many of the trends we identified in Top 100 Global Innovators 2022 are mirrored in the list of rising organizations identified in Innovators to watch.

We see a notable presence from the automotive industry in both car manufacturer form (Subaru, BMW and Mazda) and the wider technology supply chain (Knorr-Bremse, Eberspächer) that support the industry.

We see the strength of the Taiwanese electronics and semiconductor industry continue to improve in Global Innovator performance.

And we see potential first-time status for organizations in Denmark and Belgium (Danfoss, IMEC).

These trends reflect wider growth shifts in the global innovation ecosystem, including expanded focus on mobility and sustainability, an increasing diversity of represented economies and the ever-growing importance of processors and computing power in the modern economy.


Where is Mainland China?

One question posed by this year’s Innovators to Watch is a lack of representation of organizations based in Mainland China. There are currently five companies in the Top 100 Global Innovators 2022 list from the region, up from zero when we began the program 11 years ago, and with the first entrant of a Chinese entity (Huawei) occurring in 2015.

When we examine the wider ‘Global Innovators’ data set upon which the Top 100 list is based, Mainland China’s performance continues to improve every year. However, in the 2022 rankings, there is a gap in its representation between the 100th and 250th space, the threshold upon which Innovators to watch focuses. This means that no organization in Mainland China met the criteria for our forecast this year, although there are several which are fast improving their performance below position 250.


For far more

Here you can access the Innovators to watch 2022 report, and the 37 companies and institutions quickly rising to potentially join the world’s most innovative organizations. To learn more about the Top 100 Global Innovators calculation methodology, please see:

Please contact us to use the techniques, information and expertise behind this analysis. New for 2022, you can gain access to our datafile service for the complete 2022 ranks and measures of up to the Top 2,000 Global Innovators. Contact us for more information.


About the author

Ed White is a thought leader in innovation measurement and forecasting, and is the head author of the Top 100 Global Innovators™ and Top 100 Best Global Brands programs from Clarivate. A twenty-year veteran of Clarivate and its forebears, Ed has a technical background in electronic engineering, instrumentation and particle/plasma devices. He began his career at Clarivate within the editorial group behind the Derwent World Patents Index™ before moving into professional patent analysis in 2005. Ed has spent most of his career developing new methods of analyzing innovation ecosystems and advised hundreds of corporations, institutions and governments with technology data investigations.