This article was produced independently of Reuters News. It was created by the public relations department of Thomson Reuters’ Intellectual Property & Science division, and Reuters Brand Content Solutions.
By Laura Gaze
Which companies are turning creative ideas into commercial, industry-changing success? The fifth annual Thomson Reuters top 100 Global Innovators recognizes innovators and organizations that have created breakthroughs that shape the future and generate economic success, encouraging and driving more innovation, more jobs and more revenue.
Since its inception in 2011, 185 organizations have been honored with the title of top Global Innovator. A select number of these are five-time recipients. Others have made it to the list only once in the last five years. Whatever the frequency, these organizations represent elite global enterprises that are leaders in innovation. They pioneer new breakthroughs and organize their businesses to turn discoveries into practical solutions to address today’s global challenges.
The Thomson Reuters 2015 Top 100 Global Innovators methodology—compiled by analysts with the company’s IP & Science business—uses patent information to measure innovation. The analysis is based not just on overall patent volume, but also includes metrics to assess the quality of innovation (patent grant success rates), global reach (breadth of filing), and patent influence as evidenced by citations.
The program has annually outperformed leading financial indices, serving as a trustworthy investment resource and a testament to increased R&D funding, global patent filing and new market development, resulting in greater revenue and enhanced regional economic activity. The 2015 Top 100 Innovators outperformed the MSCI World Index in revenue by 6.01 percent, employment by 4.09 percent, and market-cap-weighted R& D spending by 1.86 percent.
The study revealed significant industry and regional shifts, proving that “survival of the fittest” is now “survival of the broadest,” as companies seek to expand their portfolios. For example, Bayer Pharmaceuticals makes its first appearance on the list since 2011 given its expansion into crop science. Another industry shift is in chemicals, where small molecules are increasingly being used in new ways for cosmetics, food chemistry and flavorings.
Key Findings in Global Innovation
- Media Internet Search and Navigation is an emerging area of innovation. Amazon joined the ranks of Top 100 innovators for the first time, generating handfuls of new inventions each month in broad areas like data centers, devices, and electronic methods and systems.
- Oil and Gas was not represented in 2014, but Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Idemitsu Kosan made this year’s list with advancements in hydraulic fracking of natural gas and expansion into alternative energy technologies.
- The Chemical sector doubled its representation—the largest jump in the report—to meet demands in industries such as drug development, food chemistry, and industrial solvents.
- The Semiconductor sector once dominated the list, and while it continues to play a critical role in digital development, including the Internet of Things, innovation has dramatically slowed due to consolidation and utilization of new technologies to enhance the speed and functionality of computers.
- Asia continues to lead the world in innovation with 44 organizations, but has lost market share to Europe, which has increased its presence from 18 to 20. France leads the European pack with 10 organizations. North America holds steady, following Asia with 36, but is still at a distance from its 2011 peak of 46.
- The United Kingdom continues to be noticeably absent, largely because of the relatively low relationship between R&D spending and Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (GERD). The UK’s GERD is 1.63 percent, for example, whereas Japan’s is 3.47 percent; Japan is a repeat honoree yet again. Japan has 15 five-time winners and the US has 14.
- China is also noticeably absent this year after making its first appearance in 2014; the nation continues to evolve its intellectual property infrastructure with record-breaking numbers of domestic patents, but further efforts to attain global patents will be essential to advancing its impact and influence within the innovation landscape.
“In today’s hypercompetitive global marketplace, innovation requires much more than having a great idea. True innovation occurs when organizations harness the power of intellectual property rights and commercial insight to bring an idea to life,” said David Brown, Senior Vice President, Thomson Reuters Intellectual Property and Science.
“This is the potent formula we measure with our Top 100 Global Innovators program. The institutions on this year’s list represent the current vanguard in innovation by pioneering new breakthroughs and organizing their businesses to turn discoveries into reality.”
Download the full report here <here> for a complete look across industries, geographies, newcomers and absentees.