Quantifying innovation and honoring the world’s most innovative companies

Using our intellectual property solutions to name the Top 100 Global Innovators for 2013

Many companies like to claim they are global innovators — in fact, the term "innovation" was used in nearly 30,000 news releases issued over PR Newswire in the past year — but few can actually prove it.

So how do you filter out what is true innovation versus merely a great idea or a successful product? By analyzing a series of proprietary, patent-related metrics, our Intellectual Property & Science business seeks to answer this question and identify the top 100 organizations at the center of global innovation. As the research, analysis and report shows, patents are a proxy for innovation.

The 2013 Top 100 Global Innovators List measures patent activity based on four principal criteria: overall volume, success rate, globalization and influence. These four benchmarks reinforce that great ideas are part of the strategic equation and that organizations need the ability to protect, commercialize and leverage these ideas around the world in order to be successful.

Innovation at the heart of business growth

Over the past year, these Top Innovators collectively generated $4.5 trillion in revenue, added more than 266,000 jobs and invested $223 billion in research and development, outspending the constituents of the S&P 500 in R&D by 8.8 percent.

"Now in its third year, the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators study provides further evidence that innovative organizations — those that secure global patent protection for their intellectual property, continue to push the envelope with new technologies and invest more in R&D — are those that outperform the S&P 500 on virtually every measure of business success," said David Brown, managing director, Thomson Reuters IP Solutions. "These are the companies that are driving growth, creating jobs and pioneering new products and services; we are honored to recognize their efforts through this annual program."

Key findings

The semiconductor and electronic components industry continued to lead in 2013, with 23 representative companies, followed by the computer hardware industry with 11 companies.

North America continued to lead in the number of organizations on the list, with 46 this year, comprising 45 from the U.S. and one from Canada. Asia had the next highest, with 32, followed by 22 honorees from Europe. China and the U.K. are once again absent from this year's list, the former despite the fact that it leads the world in patent volume. The report explains some factors contributing to this situation.

The intense competition in the smartphone space is on clear display in this year's list, with the major players in the smartphone patent wars present, including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Google and BlackBerry.

Top 100 Global Innovators

View the full 2013 Top 100 Global Innovators List and access this year’s report.