According to a new report published in the Wall Street Journal, Singapore is the most innovative city in Asia.
The report, which was conducted by Asian consulting firm Solidiance, gave Singapore high marks for stable politics, low government regulation, and high saturation of global brands.
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Laura Gaze, Director, IP Solutions: There are many ways to measure innovation and Solidiance is onto something with their focus on evaluating regional politics, cultural and quality of life factors when ranking the top cities. Other Asia Pacific cities on the list included Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Auckland, Tokyo and Seoul.
What about mainland China you may ask? According to the report, Shanghai faired poorly on the list, ranking 14 out of 16 on the list.
Using a completely different methodology, our recent Top 100 Global Innovators program offered a glimpse into regional innovation as well. However, while the Solidiance analysis is based on socioeconomic and cultural factors to spotlight regional innovation hot spots, our analysis was based purely on quantitative factors to identify the specific organizations that are driving innovation. Specifically, we developed a methodology based on four principle criteria: patent grant success rate, global reach of the patent portfolio, influence as evidenced by citations and overall patent volume. On a region-by-region basis, our analysis found that the U.S. was home to 47 of the Top 100 most innovative organizations in the world, followed by Asia, with 32 – comprising 25 from Japan and 7 from South Korea. Europe came in third place with 21 Top 100 honorees.
The one common bond on both lists was the conspicuous absence of China. In our case, the reason for China’s absence was a lack of global patent filings. Whereas China has become the world leader in domestic patent filings, very little of the IP emanating from the country is protected in other regional patent offices around the globe. That global perspective was a key component of our analysis, and, in many ways, a quantitative representation of the political and cultural factors Solidiance is measuring with their analysis.
At the end of the day, these are two very different analyses with very different goals, but both shed some compelling light on the current culture of innovation in the Asia Pacific region.