Who are today’s leading global innovators?

Clarivate Analytics has again recognized the most innovative organizations worldwide for the seventh consecutive year with the publication today of the “2017 Top 100 Global Innovators” report.  This seeks to address the question of who today’s leading global innovators are, and to celebrate their achievements and contributions to enriching the world through innovation.

The ranking identifies companies and organizations that are best at turning creative ideas into commercialized inventions based on a thorough study of their patenting performance. True innovation requires unique solutions and discoveries, and a patent granted by an independent patent office is legal recognition of the uniqueness of an invention and protects the owner from infringement by others.

The report is based on findings from patent data driven analysis using Clarivate Analytics proprietary data and analysis tools to measure innovation not just through overall patent volume, but also through metrics to assess the quality of innovation (patent grant success rates), global reach (breadth of filing), and patent influence as evidenced by citations.

The organizations in the 2017 Top 100 represent three continents and 11 different markets, with major innovation hubs Japan and the USA accounting for 75% of the list. Eighty-five of the 2017 Top 100 Global Innovators also appeared on the 2016 list, and six are new to the report.

Forty-five Asian companies appear on this year’s list, a 15 % increase over 2016, with long-recognized organizations like Honda, Komatsu, Samsung and Toyota joined by newcomers Fuji Electric, Hon Hai and Nichia. North America runs second with 36 companies appearing on the list, where newcomers like Facebook, Molex and Western Digital join Apple, Abbott Laboratories, Boeing, Microsoft and others.

This marks a return of the innovation hub back to the East with Asia taking the leading role in three of the last four years confirming their status as the global innovation powerhouse.

Organizations in Asia and their industries have seen a convergence of technology with the application of Industry 4.0 themes of artificial intelligence, automation and improved manufacturing techniques across an increasing array of disciplines.  The new entrants from Asia illustrate this:

  • Fuji Electric has benefitted from open innovation through joint research programs and foundation of research institutes internationally in China, US and Europe;
  • Hon Hai has long-term research direction in key growth areas across the information technology sector, including telecommunications, consumer electronics, robotics and automation, optoelectronics and precision machinery, among others;
  • Nichia is at the cutting edge of light-emitting-diode technology which has wide application across a range of industries.

Thirty-eight of this year’s Top 100 Global Innovators have consistently achieved recognition in all seven years of the program. These are the best of the best and exhibit consistently strong performance in successfully obtaining rights to their innovation, seeking wide protection and global markets for potential products and services based on that innovation and are recognized by their peers as creating leading innovation for others to build on. They include renowned organizations such as, for example, 3M, Boeing, DuPont, Hitachi, Panasonic, Sony, Intel and others.

This year, in recognition of the major role that law firms play in a company’s ability to patent and bring to market a new innovation, the report highlights the Top 25 law firms by region who are working with the 2017 Top 100 Global Innovator companies.  The patent portfolios of the Top 100 were reviewed to identify those law firms working with the top innovators to support the protection and commercialization of ideas, and help those organizations realize the full return on their investment.

Additional insight and findings on the world’s most innovative organizations are available in the full report, here.