After briefly falling behind the US in the innovation stakes in 2016, Asia has reclaimed its position as the epicentre for global innovation, reveals the 2017 Top 100 Global Innovators report published by Clarivate Analytics.
Announced on 25th January 2018, the annual report indicates the most successful and active global organisations in terms of innovation. A businesses’ level of progression is analysed through assessing its research and development activities, capabilities in protecting their IP and the achievement of commercial success.
Asia surpasses the US
A prevailing investment trend also emerged in the 2017 report, with innovative organisations seeking financial injections for “unique, enduring inventions”. These, in turn, has also led to the successful filing of patents. These patent-approaching businesses are praised for bringing products to market and witnessing “greater global commercial potential”.
In total, 45 Asian companies feature on the latest list, representing a 15 % increase compared with 2016. Well-established and renowned leaders of industry including Honda, Komatsu, Samsung and Toyota feature, as well as relatively new market players such as Fuji Electric, Hon Hai and Nichia, feature.
During 2017, Asian organisations surpassed and outperformed the rest of the Top 100 companies in all metrics, many of which hailed from the US and Europe.
This, therefore, indicates “that the region is producing higher quality innovation, seeking to commercialise its innovation globally and creating more impactful innovation than both the remaining Top 100 Global Innovators and organisations outside the Top 100”, Clarivate Analytics said in a recent press release.
The seventh edition of the top 100 global innovators uses a propriety patent data-driven analysis from Derwent Innovation and Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI) to evaluate innovation within the organisation. Well-known and used in the industry, the index provides “editorially enhanced, authoritative and accurate patent data”.
Based on the metrics produced, once analysed, these create a combined indicator score to highlight the globe's most innovative organisations.
The report's methodology explores the company’s portfolio strength by examining four key areas: its patent volume, in order to be considered, an organisation must have had at least 100 inventions protected by a granted patent in the past five years; a high ratio of success in obtaining patent grants; the globalisation or international breadth of patent filings across Europe, China, Japan and the US; and the influence of how a patent/invention is cited externally by other organisations.
The cosmetics and chemicals industry boasted a total of 12 organisations this year, rising from nine in the 2016 Top 100. This increased list names long-standing entries like 3M, Arkema, Dow, DuPont, Nitto Denko and Shin-Etsu, which have also been joined by new companies including Asahi Glass, Mitsui Chem, Nichia and Toray.
Businesses featured in the 2017 Top 100 cover three continents and 11 different markets, earmarking Japan and the US as key innovation areas, making up 75% of the companies on the list. Of this total, 85% of the 2017 Top 100 Global Innovators also appeared on the 2016 list, and six are new to the report.
Reaching the market
Although patent filings by the top 100 global innovators have risen at a slower pace than those outside the list, data shows that the top 100 are more successful in bringing their own innovations and developments to market.
Looking at the bigger picture, the volume of global patent filings has jumped by 11.9% during the last five years, compared to a 2.4% increase for the top 100. Despite this, the number of patents granted to the top 100 in 2017 went up by 5.7% year-over-year, compared to a 3.4% increase for companies outside the Top 100.
"As the world experiences geopolitical shifts and significant economic change, the one constant that enables leaders to weather volatility is a laser focus on innovation,” highlighted Daniel Videtto, President of IP & Standards at Clarivate Analytics.
Ultimately, it is this innovation that “helps develop competitive advantage, leading to the creation of sustainable economies that make possible societal improvements and the enhanced wellbeing of citizens”, Videtto enthused.