What is commercial, practical and works as ideas now and in the near future is built on the research and discovery of the near past. That means innovation and idea data across boundaries of basic and applied research are fundamental requirements for innovation decision making, whether academic or commercial.
It means those whose eyes stay fixed on the future horizon of the possible must consider both the scientifically possible and invented solution. Their expanded view means they more often transform ideas to knowledge and on to solution. Doing so changes the horizons they can see. It changes the horizons they can imagine. It changes the nature of our world and the solutions within it.
Where the threads go next are laid out at the edge of the great tapestry.
At the edge of what is possible.
Twelve years of measuring innovation excellence
Since 2011, we’ve explored the global innovation landscape. As global ideation pattern changes and the way they are measured evolves, so too has our methodology. Refreshed in 2022, our new model of innovation measurement focuses on consistent above-the-bar excellence where all ideas compete equally.
In this section, we offer the past five years of reports (since the inception of Clarivate™) as a complimentary resource for your reference.
The creation of new knowledge can feel like a complex river. Filled with switchbacks, pools, eddies and rapids, science and engineering development finds a path from the discoveries of the enlightenment to the horizon of what may be possible.
Today, that flow of innovation is fed by vast numbers of tributaries, contributing ideas from many distinct pockets of research discipline.
At Clarivate, we have the privilege of witnessing that great pathway, visualizing it and helping to open it for the decision makers and innovators that lean on ideation data.
In that great river system, ideas transform and change, they morph from discovery to understanding of effects and outcome. They leave enticing opportunity, opening new directions for innovation itself.
Bringing together the information Clarivate has on both the inventive activity of humanity alongside the scientific discovery information of the world means we can track how technology, and the knowledge created with it, transfers. We can track how it graduates from what may be possible on to practical engineered solutions companies can build and supply.
Before the work and the ideas of Top 100 Global Innovators™ sits the research that carved a path to the possible – research referenced in the inventions of the Top 100 itself.
Here, we look before the Top 100 to the more fundamental science and engineering that – at least in part – enabled their work. We identify the 50 research organizations whose work is most often cited by the Top 100 Global Innovators 2023. Those institutions whose intellect underpins the design of engineered solutions.
|Organization cited by the Top 100 Global Innovators 2023||Country/Region||Number of papers referenced by inventions of
Top 100 Global Innovators 2023
|Chinese Academy of Sciences||China, Mainland||2,134|
|Stanford University||United States||1,669|
|University of California, Berkeley||United States||1,424|
|Harvard University||United States||1,286|
|Tsinghua University||China, Mainland||1,075|
|Nanyang Technological University||Singapore||1,013|
|University of Michigan||United States||973|
|University of California, San Diego||United States||961|
|University of Toronto||Canada||931|
|Seoul National University||South Korea||887|
|University of Illinois||United States||819|
|University of Washington||United States||808|
|Carnegie Mellon University||United States||801|
|University of Texas, Austin||United States||761|
|University of Melbourne||Australia||760|
|University of Florida||United States||754|
|National University of Singapore||Singapore||753|
|University of Wisconsin||United States||693|
|University of Oxford||United Kingdom||685|
|University College, London||United Kingdom||670|
|Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne||Switzerland||656|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||United States||653|
|University of Maryland||United States||641|
|Zhejiang University||China, Mainland||635|
|Cornell University||United States||631|
|University of Tokyo||Japan||629|
|University of Cambridge||United Kingdom||627|
|National Taiwan University||Taiwan||624|
|Autonomous University of Barcelona||Spain||612|
|Imperial College, London||United Kingdom||608|
|University of California, Santa Barbara||United States||607|
|Johns Hopkins University||United States||604|
|Korea University||South Korea||602|
|University of Pennsylvania||United States||572|
|Peking University||China, Mainland||565|
|RWTH Aachen University||Germany||558|
|Hong Kong University of Science and Technology||Hong Kong||556|
|Shanghai Jiao Tong University||China, Mainland||542|
|Columbia University||United States||540|
|Yale University||United States||526|
The list of the Top 50 most cited institutions by the Top 100 Global Innovators is diverse.
Most prolific is the work of the institutions that make up the Chinese Academy of Sciences, while looking at the number of institutions across the Top 50, the pre-eminence of United States institutions is clear with half of the Top 50 being from the U.S.
The research landscape enabling downstream inventions is relatively concentrated geographically, with just four countries or regions with more than two organizations in the list: the United States, Mainland China, the United Kingdom and South Korea.
The United States, Mainland China and South Korea all have multiple corporations in Top 100 Global Innovators this year, while the United Kingdom has only one entry: Rolls Royce. This difference speaks to the power of the British research base, as it exports research and ideas around the world.
Most cited research, number of institutions by country/region Number of institutions in the top 50 most cited (tracking inventions from Top 100 Global Innovators 2023 to research articles)
When we broaden the review of invention-to-research paper links beyond the Top 100, to the Top 1,000 Global Innovators, we can see the intensity of research links, where bringing ideas to market are more tightly interwoven with the science and research within academia.
The top segment, as a function of citations to research per invention, is the pharmaceutical sector – reflecting the fundamental importance of life sciences research on the development of new drugs and therapies. It shows the need for broader thinking and the role of research in discovering new approaches. It also likely demonstrates the roughly 20-year trend towards academic-commercial research partnerships.
With the medical and biotechnology sector ranked fifth out of 15 in the same analysis, this effect clearly crosses into the wider life sciences industry.
Viewed at a higher level, the intensity of research linkage per sector shows a split between those that are more engineering related (automotive and aerospace, electronics and semiconductors, telecommunications) versus heavier science sectors (chemistry and materials science). One field which sits outside this general split is the energy and electrical sector, potentially reflecting the ongoing importance of academic research in the transition to more sustainable energy sources.
Finally, the entities in the Top 1,000 Global Innovators which are themselves research institutions demonstrate their direct transfer of ideas generated by their faculty members to commercially available inventions – with government and academic research ranked second in research link intensity.
Reliance on scientific research, by segment
Normalized citations to research articles per invention, by industry segment, from Top 1,000 Global Innovators 2023
Interwoven in this analysis is the dissemination of research and innovation globally. Ideas do not see international borders. We can track the headquarters location of the Top 1,000 Global Innovators and the country/region location of the organization of the authors of the papers they cite. We can track when ideas cross those borders.
Doing so shows us how research ideas spread from region to region and the strength of the links between research in one region to the development of inventions in another.
This analysis primarily demonstrates the deep research links between Europe and the United States, with 5% of European inventions citing U.S. research papers and almost 11% of U.S. inventions citing European research.
The cross-border nature of research and developed idea flow has a good example in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, with 95% of the citations to the institutions that make up the academy coming from organizations not based in Mainland China.
Indeed, within this data, U.S. organizations that are members of the Top 1,000 Global Innovators cite Mainland Chinese research (2.7% of inventions) more often than the other way round (1% of inventions) – underscoring the emergence of Mainland China today as new and net source of ideas and innovation.
|Top 1,000 Global Innovator entity region||Citing||Web of Science organization region||Total times research is cited||% of all Top 1,000 inventions with reference to research in other regions|
|East Asia (excl. Mainland China)||
East Asia (excl. Mainland China)
East Asia (excl. Mainland China)
East Asia (excl. Mainland China)
Countries and regions
Six companies re-enter the Top 100:
Five companies awarded Top 100 Global Innovator status for the first time:
19 companies retain all-year Top 100 Global Innovator status:
Three industrial segments saw increases in Top 100 Global Innovators representation: semiconductors (+3), chemicals and materials (+1) and industrial conglomerates (+1), offset by decreases in automotive firm representation (-2), electronics and computing equipment (-2) and the energy and electrical segment (-1). All other industrial segments remained static to 2022 levels.
The trends within the Top 100 differ from wider trends across the broader Top 1,000 Global Innovators. Our over-the-horizon view of current average rankings by sector forecasts continued increases in rank of connectivity and sustainability focused industries: telecommunications, energy and electrical-focused entities and computing equipment.
Forecast global innovator ranking, by segment
Average rank of organizations within Top 1,000 Global Innovators; displayed as position
Forecast global innovator ranking, by country/region
Average rank of organizations within Top 1,000 Global Innovators; only countries/region with <10 entities in year; displayed as position
This year, we see a potential acceleration in the average ranking of government and academic institutions – currently ranked 15th out of 15 segments, but on a pathway to 12th place in future years, based on current ranking changes by organizations.
Geographically, while Mainland China saw a reduction in Top 100 representation this year, we did see an increase in the wider spread among a much broader pool of entities across the Top 1,000 rankings. This context better represents overall Mainland Chinese innovation trends, which continue to demonstrate average ranking improvement. That signal is sharper in 2023, with a faster acceleration in innovation metrics even as volumes of invention activity from the region continue to increase.
Indeed, Asia Pacific regions and nations are showing similar performance increases: South Korea, Taiwan and Japan all show average entity ranking increases.
At Clarivate, we aim to provide the guidance and the clarity to understand and take advantage of the complex. To use the techniques, the information and the expertise behind the Top 100, contact us today.