4iP News

Thomson Reuters publishes the 2015 Top 100 Global Innovators list

27 November 2015

For the fifth consecutive year Thomson Reuters has published its Top 100 Global Innovators list honouring world leaders in innovation.

The 2015 report, which has a methodology scientifically rooted in patent data and analysis, reveals a list of Top 100 companies that consistently outperform other indices in terms of revenue and R&D spend. The report concludes that investment in R&D and innovation results in higher revenue and company success.

David Brown, Founding member of the Top 100 Global Innovators, explains the findings, “Companies with larger patent portfolios receive up to $12 million more in start-up funding than those without[1]. And, the wages of employees in R&D-intensive industries are at least 30 per cent higher than those in non-R&D industries[2].” He goes on to say, “we also found that the higher a country’s GDP, the larger its investment in R&D, innovation, patenting and generally the better its intellectual property rights protection.”

Geographically, Asia is cited as the ‘frontrunner’ in terms of its innovation activity (40 companies on the list) followed by North America (30 companies listed). Europe’s share of the Top 100 grew slightly from 18 companies in 2014 to 20 in 2015 with France in a leadership position (10 per cent share). The UK is notably absent from the list due, explains the report, to a low GERD ratio (investment in R&D as a proportion of GDP).

This report also offers an analysis of the Top 100 by industry focus as well as a review of innovators in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its authors lead their conclusion with the following words, ‘There’s no disputing it. Innovation is a driver of economic success and patents are a proxy for innovation. Inventions can’t be successfully commercialised without protecting them with patenting rights.’


[1] “Patents as Quality Signals for Entrepreneurial Ventures,” Academy of Management Journal, 2008

[2] Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce