Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018–19

Almost half of the 100 most innovative companies on earth comes from Asia. Japan is the top country with 39 entries; Korea, Taiwan and China each have 3. Europe in total has 19 companies on the list, with France (7 entries) on top. Germany has 4: Bayer, BASF, Siemens and Fraunhofer. For the Netherlands, both entries (Philips and NXP) have their origins in Eindhoven. Although going down, the United States still offer one-third of the whole list: 33 entries, 3 less than last year. In total, 12 countries have made the list. Russia is new this year (thanks to Kaspersky), Ireland lost its place.

Patents are most important in gaining a place on the Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018–19, made by Clarivate Analytics. The list identifies the world’s most innovative organizations, assessing each one on its ability to successfully develop valuable patented inventions that also have strong commercialization potential based on originality, market reach, and opportunities for spin-off inventions. Derwent: “Creating a value from unique ideas is at the core of the innovation process. This process, in turn, relies on protecting inventions with obtaining granted patent rights. Intellectual property is the bridge connecting innovation to economic growth and prosperity. Without it there may be creativity, but not sustainable marketability. By tracking patent activity, we have built a detailed picture of each organization’s innovation commitment.”

We published a lot more on the importance of patents

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    Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018–19
    Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018–19

    The shift in the global innovation hub continues eastwards with nearly 50 per cent of organizations on this year’s list originating from Asia, driven this year by the addition of three newcomers from Mainland China and Taiwan. Derwent: “Following the trend of last year, the epicentre of innovation continues shifting from west to east. Notably, Mainland China companies BYD and Xiaomi appear on the list for the first time and Huawei makes the list again for the fourth time. This data tracks with our long-standing prediction that Mainland China’s drive to transform its economy from a manufacturing to a knowledge base would increase the number of Chinese companies appearing on the Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018–19 list.”

    Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018–19
    Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018–19

    Like last year, fast-moving technologies are also at the heart of this year’s list with many of the Top 100 organizations embracing AI and 5G developments to build diversity into their ongoing innovation. The Top 100 innovators are from three continents and 12 countries. Just two — Japan and the U.S. — account for 72 per cent of the organizations on the list. This one data point indicates how they are by far the world’s strongest innovation hubs.

    Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018–19
    Derwent Top 100 Global Innovators 2018–19

    Six other countries have been represented on the list since it was first published in 2011: France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, and Switzerland. They are joined by Taiwan for the sixth consecutive year, Mainland China for the fourth time and Finland for the third year. New to the list this year is Russia.

    Representation among the different industry sectors is remarkably stable this year. Hardware & Electronics leads the way with 35 organizations — just one more than last year.

    This is the eighth year the list has been published. No German or Dutch company has been on every edition of the list. Royal Philips is on the list for the sixth consecutive time. CEO Frans van Houten: “This is a much-valued recognition of our ability to create breakthrough innovations aimed to enhance the quality and productivity of healthcare, and improve people’s lives.”

    The Fraunhofer Institute is one of the only three entries for “Institution and Government Research”. The other two are Itri from Taiwan and Commissariat à l’énergie atomique from France.

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    Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of