New players emerge as Amazon rapidly expands patent portfolio into other arenas; Chevron and Exxon Mobil make strides in alternative energy; chemical sector surges by providing solutions to numerous industries.
Thomson Reuters IP & Science will released its highly anticipated 2015 Top 100 Global Innovators . The 2015 study reveals significant industry and regional shifts, suggesting that “survival of the fittest” is now “survival of the broadest” as companies seek to expand their patent portfolios.
For the fifth consecutive year, the financial performance of the Top 100 Innovators has beat the companies that comprise leading financial indices, which reinforces the benefits of increased investment in R&D and patent protection. The 2015 Top 100 Global Innovators outperformed the MSCI World Index in revenue by 6.01 percentage points, employment by 4.09 percentage points, and market-cap-weighted R&D spend by 1.86 percentage points.
Thomson Reuters 2015 Top 100 Global Innovators is based on an analysis of overall patent volume, patent-grant success rates, global reach and invention influence as evidenced by citations. For 2015, Thomson Reuters expanded the analysis with a closer examination of innovation in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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 for advancements in the hydraulic fracking of natural gas and expansion into alternative energy.
The chemical sector doubled its representation—the largest jump in the report—meeting demands in industries such as drug development, food chemistry and industrial solvents.
The semiconductor sector once dominated the list, and it continues to play a crucial role in digital development, including the Internet of Things. Yet, global innovation in the sector has dramatically slowed due to the utilization of new technologies to enhance the speed and functionality of computers.
Asia continues to lead the world in innovation with 44 organizations represented, but has lost market share to Europe, which has increased its presence to 20 from 18. France leads the European pack with 10 organizations. North America holds steady at 36, well below its 2011 peak of 46.
The United Kingdom continues to be noticeably absent, largely because of the country’s relatively low 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, with 15 five-time honorees while 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.
The addition of the Top San Francisco Bay Area Innovators, compares the innovation activity of Silicon Valley to the Top 100 Global Innovators and provides insight into growing technology fields. The analysis identified notable differences, as well as some similarities, between the two groups. Despite sharp declines in global innovation, the semiconductor space continues to dominate in the Bay Area, representing 26 percent of the overall list. Pharmaceuticals are highly represented in the Bay Area and Top 100, demonstrating their evolving focus in advancing precision medicine, genomics and drug repurposing.
“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 Dave Brown, senior vice president, Thomson Reuters IP &Science. “This is the potent formula we apply to our Top 100 Global Innovator program. The institutions on this year’s list represent the current vanguard in innovation by pioneering new breakthroughs and organizing their businesses to make new discoveries a reality.”
Now in its fifth year, the Top 100 Global Innovators is the first ongoing analysis of the relationships between patent protection, innovation and economic success. For comparison purposes, Thomson Reuters conducts a year-over-year analysis of three core metrics: revenue, number of employees, and investment in research and development. The analysis is based on local currencies. For 2015, the MSCI World Index was chosen as the benchmark to reflect the highly global nature of the Top 100 Innovators; previous years were benchmarked against the S&P 500, which comprises only US-listed companies.