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Top 100 Global Innovators 2021 – USA and Japan lead the world

The 10th anniversary edition of the "Top 100 Global Innovators™ 2021" report by Clarivate PLC highlights the world's most innovative companies and institutions that bring to life ideas creating new economic value. Each year more than 14,000 companies are rated on their patent activity based on data derived from Clarivate’s patent solutions: Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI) and Derwent Patent Citations Index (DPCI) using the methodology within four indicators – volume of patents, their influence, success, and globalisation.

Some of the key findings of the Top 100 Global Innovators 2021 report include:


  • Three continents (Europe, North America, Asia) and 14 countries are represented in the Top 100 Global Innovators 2021.
  • The United States ranks first with 42 organizations, followed by Japan with 29 organizations. Taiwan and South Korea are represented by 5 companies each, followed by China with 4 organizations. France, Germany and Switzerland each have three enterprises, while Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom each have one.
  • Nine organizations are first-time entrants to the TOP100 innovators, including Arm, ASUS, BorgWarner, Bose, China Academy of Telecommunications Technology, Kinpo, KLA, SK Telecom, and Qorvo. Three of these belong to the electronics and computing equipment industry. 29 companies have appeared in the Top 100 Global Innovators list every year since its establishment in 2012.
  • The Electronics and computing equipment industry with 21% is the main contributor to the Top 100, followed by Semiconductors (12%), Industrial systems (10%) and Telecommunications (10%). Other industries represented in the Top 100 are: Chemicals and materials (7%), Software, media, fintech (7%), Automotive (6%), Pharmaceuticals (6%), Government and academic research (5%), Energy and electrical (4%), Medical and biotechnology (4%), Aerospace and defense (3%), Industrial conglomerate (2%), Mining and metals (2%) and Consumer goods and food (1%).
  • Countries which increased entries in the Top100 are Mainland China (+1), South Korea (+2), Taiwan (+1) and the USA (+2). The British chipmaker Arm becomes the first UK-based company to enter the list, while Russia, who made it into TOP100 with one company last year, failed to get into this year’s list.

The report notes that because of the pandemic, companies around the world, in every industry, are facing new economic and technical challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened the focus on health care and diagnostics, as well as protective measures and equipment. This has primarily changed the direction of pharmaceutical companies, some of which have concentrated their work on vaccine development. Software companies focused on providing new ways to work effectively remotely and high-tech manufacturers have increased production of personal protective equipment (PPE). The medical, biotech and pharma industries have slightly increased their weight in the Top 100, with medical and biotech companies comprising 4% and pharma companies 6% of this year’s rating.

The value of innovation in the automobile related sector is highlighted by the addition of two more companies: the US’ BorgWarner and Japanese Yazaki, whereby both are major suppliers rather than original equipment manufacturers. Another 4 winners in this sector are Japan-based enterprises. The number of companies listed in the Energy and Electrical industry has decreased by one, and includes Schneider Electric, Furukawa Electric, Mitsubishi Electric, and LS Electric.