The World’s Most Innovative Government Institutions

In the popular imagination, government institutions may not be as closely associated with innovation as commercial firms such as Apple or Samsung. Similarly, compared with government installations, university labs might claim more cachet as centers of innovation.

In reality, however, government institutions – large, well-funded, often embodying national aspirations and imperatives – register strongly in precisely quantified measurements of innovation.

To highlight the government institutions that have achieved the greatest impact in innovation, Clarivate Analytics recently teamed with Reuters News to release a new report on the Top 25 Global Innovators – Government. The new listing of the Top 25 updates a ranking that first appeared in 2016.

To generate the 2017 list, Clarivate Analytics turned to its array of information tools, especially those for evaluating the volume of patenting activity as well as the subsequent success and reach of those patents. These resources include the Web of Science, Derwent Innovations Index, and Derwent World Patents Index.

First, Clarivate analysts identified the government institutions that were most prolific in their output of scientific papers from 2009 to 2014, according to the Web of Science Core Collection. The resulting list of 600 institutions was winnowed to those that filed at least 70 world patents. Those entities were then evaluated on a variety of measures, such as how often their patent applications were granted, how many patents were filed with global patent offices and local authorities, and how often the institution’s patents were cited by others. Institutions were also evaluated according to how often their research papers were cited by patents and the percentage of their journal articles that featured a co-author from the industry.

Topping the list this year is the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This sprawling agency includes the National Institutes of Health and its many constituent centers (e.g., the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging) along with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. Because the HHS is the official assignee on all patents filed by its various component entities, it earns top credit in the ranking.

On the other hand, this year’s ranking breaks out two national laboratories from within the US Department of Energy (DOE), since those labs, rather than the DOE itself, are the official assignees on their respective patents.

Ranking second this year, down just one spot from its #1 placement last year, is France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (better known by its French acronym, CEA).

To view the full list of the Top 25 Global Innovators – Government, and to read more about the methodology, download the full report.