GENEVA – A new report has identified the world’s top innovation hotspots and shed light on how interlinked innovation has become, the World Intellectual Property Report said Tuesday.
In its latest report, WIPO mapped what it calls the geography of innovation by identifying a series of global innovation hotspots (GIH) and specialized niche clusters (SNC).
Hotspots and clusters are located in densely populated areas across the United States, East Asia and Europe.
“First of all cities have always been important in innovation. Historically there are many examples of cities that have become hotspots for innovative and creative thinking and the implementation of that thinking,” Francis Curry, Director General WIPO said.
“Our report has been done on the basis of an analysis of literally millions of patent applications and scientific innovations which we’ve landscaped in order to find out the story about the geography of innovation.
“And the emerging picture that we get overall is one of a limited number of global innovation hotspots,” Curry added.
According to Carsten Fink, Chief Economist at WIPO, hotspots are found in densely populated areas around the globe and are defined as areas with the greatest innovation density.
The report identified 174 hotspots worldwide, of which one of the most prominent ones is Silicon Valley, the economist said.
Key to innovation is cross-fertilization and collaborations, Fink told the audience.
The top 10 collaborative hotspots which account for 33 percent of all international co-inventions are: Paris, San Jose, New York, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Bengaluru, Beijing, Boston, Shanghai and London.
SNC’s are hubs that present an innovation density in one or more fields of patenting that is sufficiently high enough that it can be considered a cluster. WIPO has identified 313 worldwide clusters across the world.
Cities are the most fertile spots for ideas to flourish, but not all big cities are hubs for innovation.
For example, most hotspots in the US are located on the east and west coasts, and inland large cities do not present a high density of innovation.
“New players, particularly Asian countries, are responsible for more and more scientific research and inventions, which were once the almost exclusive domain of a handful of rich economies,” the report said.
Conversely, niche clusters are often found in smaller cities, such as Ithaca in the US or Bern in Switzerland driven by local institutions or the presence of a multinational.
The report highlights how important collaboration is to the growth of innovation.
Patents give a window into the development of innovation over a period of time and the same goes for scientific publications. These are the two primary data sources in the report, Fink continued.
Some 30 hotspots alone account for 69.2 percent of patents and 47.8 percent of scientific articles, Fink said.