List of top 100 most innovative organisations in the world contains no UK companies

Thomson Reuters IP & Science has today revealed that its list of the top 100 most innovative organisations in the world contains no UK companies.

The fourth annual Top 100 Global Innovators list has been released today with UK companies nowhere to be seen. The list shows that, while the French economy may have continued its sclerotic performance in 2014, the country is still home to seven of the top 100 innovators, down from 12 in 2013. Germany also outperformed the UK with four entrants, up from three last year.

Asia overtook North America to become home to the largest share of Top 100 innovators for the first time this year, with 46 companies on the list hailing from the region. Of these, 39 are based in Japan, four in South Korea, two from Taiwan and, for the first time, a Chinese company (Huawei) has made the list.  North America follows with 36, down from 46 last year, with 35 companies domiciled in the US and one in Canada.  Europe contributed 18 honorees, with the largest representation coming from France, followed by Switzerland and Germany.

The report suggests that the Patent Box Legislation, which offers tax credits to companies deriving profits from patents, could have impacted the country’s performance as it has yet to pay dividends, likely due to the lag time of companies understanding and embracing the tax credits it offers and the pendency time from invention to published applications.

Another factor that has contributed to the UK’s poor performance is that the country spends less on research and development as a proportion of GDP compared to European rivals. The UK is only spending 1.7 per cent of GDP on R&D, whereas Sweden spends 3.4 per cent, the Netherlands spends 2.2 per cent and China, who made it onto the list for the first time, spends two per cent.

Looking forward, the recently Europe-wide unitary patent system offers a cheaper, simpler solution for businesses seeking to protect their inventions, rather than having to register and enforce patents separately in individual European Union countries. This could help the UK break into the Top 100 in the future. The Patent Box Legislation could also help encourage firms to innovate in the UK as it becomes a more common feature of the business landscape.

“The UK’s economy continues to perform strongly but long-term economic performance and employment is driven by innovation. Countries like China are investing more and more in this field and UK companies need to do the same to be competitive in the long term” said Basil Moftah, president, Thomson Reuters IP & Science.  “This list of 100 companies represents the absolute vanguard of innovation – the organisations that are driving new breakthroughs, creating new jobs and igniting the global economy; we are honoured to recognise their efforts.”

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