Accelerate - June 2013

Innovation shapers

The 2012 Top 100 Global Innovators Report from Thomson Reuters shows five interesting trends shaping successful innovation across the world.

Firstly, the report highlights the collaborative nature of innovation – open innovation – and how universities, government agencies and scientific research centres are becoming more critical players in the innovation process.

We also see how companies/industries that just a few years ago were on the brink of demise have re-invented themselves to remain competitive and also address environmental and societal needs. Case in point: the automotive industry. Ford Motor Company made the list for the first time this year, alongside six other automotive companies. Ford’s dedication to alternative-powered vehicles and the commitment to innovation on the part of its leadership influenced the inventions it’s bringing to market and protecting with intellectual property.

All of the 2012 recipients instil a culture of innovation within their organisations and invest in research and development to keep the inventive process alive. The chief executives of some of this year’s organisations explain their perspectives on innovation on the website. Their organisations stand out from others in that they encourage idea generation and the invention process. They have established systems for vetting their innovation funnels and determining which ideas are worthy of protection. They rigorously monitor the competitive landscape, and seek out the best-of-the-best in terms of concept generation.

The Top 100 Global Innovator companies also look at innovation through a global lens. They determine the market potential of an invention and actively seek protection for it around the world. Their strategic rationales may differ, but they are one and the same when it comes to seeking and capitalising on the global potential of their inventions.

Finally, they are viewed by their peers, competitors and others as making an impactful difference. Their inventions are often cited by others and are seen as founding technologies in their respective areas.

Updated: 4 September 2015