At FINOM, we are constantly innovating in the financial services space to provide solutions for European SMEs and professionals. Drawing on inspiration from our own industry and others in the process. Each year we are fascinated by the evolution and digitalization of the business world as new and existing companies around the world innovate to answer the needs of society. We therefore decided to construct the Innovation in Business Index in order to recognise which global cities lead the way in establishing a landscape fertile for innovation.
To begin the study, we compiled a list of indicators that capture the different corners of the innovation landscape, and created an initial shortlist of 200 locations on account of their size and significance in the business world, which we then shortened to the best scoring 100 cities.Read more
The first topic we looked at was research and development, which sits at the centre of all innovation. To capture the full sweep of R&D institutions, both public and private entities were considered, including universities, governmental organisations and private companies.
In many countries, universities are the primary receivers of research funding, responsible for developing new schools of thought as well as educating the business leaders of the future. Each city’s universities were rated for their research capabilities and funding levels. Next, we examined the quality and funding level of governmental R&D organisations based in each location as a measure of the backing that each country allocates to innovation. Additionally, the R&D spending of 2,500 global companies was compiled.
We then moved on to assess the business landscape in each place. To start, we counted the number of start-ups funded in each city since 2015 in order to recognise their role in modernising industries and driving change. We then analysed the tech ecosystem in each location by measuring the maturity and sector diversity of start-up activity.
The contribution of industry to the local economy was also considered by calculating the number of people and share of the working population employed in manufacturing, as well as whether the city is home to the headquarters of any major companies operating in this area. Lastly, venture capital funding figures for companies founded since 2010 were collected in order to reflect the quality of new companies and financial backing on offer in the different locations.
To conclude the study, we analysed innovation on an industry level to identify which cities are leading the way in reshaping different business sectors, including AI and machine learning technologies, FinTech and Biotechnology. The total number of companies and the amount of funding they receive were used to gauge this factor.
Instructions for journalists
The index reveals the most innovative business cities around the world, ranked by score. The tables below reveal the results, where a higher score indicates a more innovative city. You can filter each factor from highest to lowest and vice versa by clicking on the icon above each column. For a full explanation of how each factor was calculated, please see the methodology at the bottom of the page.