Ruth’s Rankings 36 – Innovation, Automation, and Technology Part 2: Innovative Companies and Countries

By Ruth A. Pagell*

  • Who is the most innovative company in Asia-Pac?
  • What Asia-Pac country has the most companies in the Reuters Rankings?
  • Which country is considered most innovative?
  • How many million patent applications were there in 2016?

Ruth’s Rankings 36 Part 1 discusses innovation rankings of universities using patents as the featured metric.  Part 2  looks at innovation at a company and country level where patents are one of many metrics.  An interest in innovation raises awareness not only of university-industry collaborations but also of corporations as a source for creating not only tangible knowledge with their patents but also as authors of scholarly articles.


Thomson-Reuters and Clarivate Analytics both released lists of top innovative companies.  T-R’s was a first release while CA’s is a continuation of the former T-R product.

Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Technology Leaders

Thomson-Reuters  published the first Top 100 Global Innovator Report in 2011 using data from Web of Science (WOS) and Derwent Patent files. In 2016, T-R sold its Intellectual Property Division (including WOS and Derwent) to what is now Clarivate Analytics and the report came with the sale. (See below).  T-R continues to partner with CA on its innovative university rankings.  It produced its own list of global technology leaders, released in January 2018.  The methodology for this new  report incorporates T-R’s proprietary financial, corporate, and patent  data. Companies are selected from T-R’s classification of business sectors and must have 2016 revenue of at least one billion dollars.  45 companies are from the  US and Japan and Taiwan have 13 each.  It only ranks the top ten companies.

The methodology  has eight performance pillars with a total of 28 factors.  Pillars include Management & investor confidence, Legal compliance, Financial performance, Innovation, Risk & Resilience, People & social responsibility and Reputation and environmental Impact.  Innovation factors listed below all use proprietary data.

• Average patent grants per year
• Patent grants per application ratio
• Research & development spending
• Innovation score –“company’s capacity to reduce the environmental costs and burdens for its customers and create new market opportunities through environmental technologies and processes or eco-designed products”

Clarivate Analytics Top 100 Global Innovators Report

38 of the original companies, considered Champions, are part of current report, released by CA in January 2018.  Methodology for this list includes only patent and citation data from CA subscription products. (CA 2017, pg. 22).  CA does not rank the organizations.

The four main criteria are

  • Volume -100 or more NEW granted patents over the five current years covered by the report in selected scientific and technology fields (Derwent Patent Index);
  • Success -a ratio of patents granted in relation to patent applications filed;
  • Globalization – a ratio, covering patents filed with the Chinese Patent Office, European Patent Office, the Japanese Patent Office and the United States Patent & Trademark Office (CA’s quadrilateral patent index) and;
  • Influence – the number of times a patent has been cited in the most recent five years, excluding self-citations (Derwent Patent Citation Index)

Scimago Institutions Rankings – Private

Scimago ranks 166 companies using the same metrics as its university rankings, with the innovation component worth 30%.  26 of the companies are on the Top lists, with Facebook number one and Samsung as tops in Asia-Pac

Clarivate Analytics

CA does not include patents in the WOS package.  However, it does include all organizations whose publications are indexed.  InCites lists 860 corporate organizations.  Samsung is number one in Asia and third in the world for corporate publications (2012-2016) with almost 9,000 and 80% are collaborations with universities, primarily from South Korea.

Company Summary

I unscientifically compared the 86 Asia-Pacific companies on either the T-R or CA lists with corporate rankings from Scimago Private Institutions Rankings and InCites publications. (Pagell 2018).  Only five companies were on all four lists and  eight on both the T-R  and CA lists.  Samsung  led the pack.  It is in the top ten of both standard rankings and also on CA’s champions list.

See Table 36:6  for Top innovative companies and Table 36:7 for Asia-Pac companies on more than one of the above lists.



The World Intellectual Patent Office, in conjunction with Cornell University and INSEAD, and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published 2018 innovation-related rankings for countries.   The U21 ranking of higher education systems has been updated and is included for comparison.

Global Innovation Index (GII 2018)   

This is the 11th edition of the GII, published by WIPO, Cornell University and INSEAD.  The 2018 edition ranks 126 economies with Switzerland as number one and Singapore as fifth.  All of the top 25 countries are High-Income countries except China.  Instead of using population as a way to normalize the results, it uses income level. The other Asia-Pac countries in the top 25 are Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

GII includes a composite index, two sub-indices, seven pillars which are further divided into sub-pillars. Each sub-pillar has its own indicators, for the total of 80.  The indicator data are derived from 30 different sources.  See Table 36:8 for the metrics and their sources.

  • Innovation Input Sub-Index pillars are Institutions, Human Capital & Research, Infrastructure, Market & Business Sophistication; top ranks: Singapore (1); Switzerland (2)
  • Innovation Output Sub-Index pillars includes Knowledge & Technology Outputs, most important to us, and Creative Outputs: top ranks: Switzerland (1); China (10).

See a GII sample country report  [Singapore] and download full report here and see Appendix II which includes the entire dataset and  Appendix III, which  lists sources and indicators.

It is possible to download the entire dataset, including rank and score.

Economist intelligence Unit

EIU created two new indexes, a Technological Readiness Ranking, and an Automation Readiness Index. The Technological report ranks countries based on performance during 2013-2017 and forecasts performance from 2018–2022.  82 world economies are evaluated on three categories.

  • Access to the Internet:  internet usage and mobile phone subscriptions
  • Digital Economy Infrastructure:  e-commerce, e-government and cyber security
  • Openness to Innovation: international patents granted by EPO and USPTO, research and development (R&D) spending, and the research infrastructure which includes the quality of the country’s research institutions, the strength of university-industry links and how supportive the government’s policy mix is for innovative firms.

Finland is number one for historical performance, Australia is three and Singapore seven.  The US is tied at 21 with eight other countries.  EIU forecasts that Australia will be number one, Singapore number two and Sweden number three. Finland drops to number four, tied with the US and three other countries. Download the report here.

The Automation Readiness Index ranks a sample of 25 countries from high, middle and low-income economies.  According to EIU, it “measures countries’ preparedness for the coming wave of intelligent automation”. South Korea is number one.  Singapore and Japan are also in the top ten.  Categories and tops in Asia-Pac and the world are:

  1. Innovation Environment:  Japan, Germany
  2. Education Policies:  South Korea and Estonia
  3. Labour Market Policies:  Germany, Singapore

See Table 36:9 for detailed metrics and sources for both indexes with the top Asia-Pac and world for each category.

Country Summary 

I tracked 42 countries based on their inclusion on composite country lists and on innovative company lists plus Asia-Pac. What is most interesting about the results  is that  eight of GII’s top 10 countries are also top 10 in U21 Library system countries. Six countries were on all the lists:  United States, Germany, South Korea, Japan, France and China.  See Table 36:10 for country distribution.


According to WIPO’s Annual Report (2017), three million patent applications were filed in 2016, about the same as the number of scholarly papers published in Web of Science for the same year. As we have seen in Article 36 Parts 1 and 2 and in Ruth’s Rankings 35 on collaboration, there is an intersection of universities and industry measured by scholarly output and patent data.  There is also a relationship between innovative countries and strong higher educational systems.


I used the CA’s proprietary databases including the Derwent Innovation Index, Incites and WOS for this article because it was easier to move among patent, articles and rankings.

See updated Appendix 36.A for information about other sources for patent information from two other aggregators, Google Patents and LED and from the main patent offices.  There is also an accompanying example.  This article does not provide information on how to file for a patent.


Clarivate Analytics Top 100 Global Innovators Report (2017).  Access online at  or download the report. From 2012-2015 this report was a product of Thomson Reuters.  This is the second year the report has been published under the Clarivate Analytics authorship.

Derwent Innovations Help Index:

Dutta, S., Lanvin, B., and Wunsch-Vincent, S. (2018).  Global Innovation Index 2018:Energizing the World with Innovation: Johnson Graduate School of Management (Cornell University, INSEAD,  World Intellectual Property Organization.  Ithaca, NY, Cornell University; Fontainebleau, France, INSEAD accessed at

Pagell (July 2018).  NOTE – I could not control for data date ranges and some differences in handling companies with subsidiaries.

Reuters (17 Jan 2018).  Microsoft tops Thomson Reuters top 100 global tech leaders, accessed 20 July at

Thomson Reuters Global Technology Leaders (Jan 2018).  This is the first edition of Thomson Reuters report. Access online at or download the report.  The 2018 University Innovation rankings remain a joint project with Thomson-Reuters and Clarivate Analytics.

WIPO (2018). World Intellectual Property Indicators 2017. Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organization; Geneva, Switzerland, WIPO, accessed online at

I would like to thank Arleen Zank at Wayfinder for her help.  For those interested in more information about patent filings see her answers to my questions in Appendix 36.B.

Ruth’s Rankings

A list of Ruth’s Rankings is here.

*Ruth A. Pagell is emeritus faculty librarian at Emory University.  After working at Emory she was the founding librarian of the Li Ka Shing Library at Singapore Management University and then adjunct faculty [teaching] in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii.  She has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of librarianship, including contributing articles to ACCESS –