MEDIA RELEASE: Innovation Cities Indexes 2011 Launch


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. "Which cities are innovation economy winners? 2thinknow Annual Innovation Cities Index released today." RELEASED MONDAY 6:01 PM EDT (New York) / TUESDAY 12:01 AM CET (Paris) / TUESDAY 9:01 AM AEST (Melbourne) 2thinknow // MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA -- Boston came first again in a field of 331 cities in the Innovation Cities Global Index. This year’s top cities were rounded out by San Francisco Bay Area, Paris, New York and Vienna, as the 5th annual index was released today by analysts from innovation agency 2thinknow. 2thinknow is based in Melbourne, Australia. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data identified innovation as the key driver of economic recovery from previous recessions and downturns for nations, and 2thinknow's annual index extends this to cities. According to 2thinknow Executive Director, Christopher Hire, "2thinknow identify key city innovation in amidst moribund national economies. 2thinknow analysts specialise in city-level data measuring city-centric economic activity. Our Innovation Cities Framework model assumes specific cities will perform out of pattern with nations, as nations enter or exit economic malaise, or multi-speed economies." Benchmarked cities are scored and classified by 2thinknow annually based on their ability to generate product, process, service and other innovation types across an urban economy. “City innovation turns into economic good news in 2 to 5 years for many industries.” The analysts first named Boston as the second-top global innovation destination in 2007. In 2011, the analysts stated that Boston's dominant institutions Harvard and MIT, business, and strengthening start-up and arts network kept the city number one overall globally. In Canada, Nexus city Toronto moved up two places to 10th globally. Montreal joined Seattle and Los Angeles as North American Nexus cities for the first time. In Asia, Hong Kong climbed to 15th globally and first Nexus in Asia, ahead of Australia's city economies represented by Melbourne and Sydney, at 17th and 20th respectively. A weakened Tokyo moved temporarily down to 22nd place ahead of a steady Shanghai (24) among a record 24% Asian Nexus cities, also including Seoul. China's economic performance to date was reflected by more Chinese cities than ever in the global Index, and the entry of cities like Wuhan and Chengdu for the first time. In 2011 the Index foresees stronger U.S. innovation performance over 2 to 5 years, based on mid-size city businesses seeking innovation opportunities in global cities. 2thinknow noted that across the USA, most major U.S. cities were likely to be globally competitive Node or above, by meeting mid-level benchmarks for innovation. The analysts identified Human Infrastructure and Cultural Asset investment as key to stronger U.S. innovation performance. European cities continued to place well, often indicating a separation between city and national performance. Germany's Munich continued climbing up to 7th place from 15th. Amid struggling UK cities London improved to 11th from 14th, as Manchester (32nd) rose to Nexus status for the first time. Most Barcelona (19), Milan (16), Madrid (52) and Torino (80) ranked counter to poor national trends for Italian and Spanish cities. Other top tier European Nexus cities listed included Amsterdam (6), Lyon (8), Copenhagen (9), Frankfurt (12), Hamburg (13) and Berlin (14). According to 2thinknow, Executive Director, Christopher Hire, the "Innovation Cities Global Index measures cities as innovation economies. This goes beyond technology or patents alone. 2thinknow analysts also collect data on assess transport, universities, arts, design, sustainability, economics, start-up facilities, labor as well as other factors to measure the opportunities cities offer their citizens. We aim to measure cities economic opportunity not nations." The top 10% of 331 cities were classified as Nexus cities by the analysts. Nexus cities were the analysts best general destinations for innovation, followed by the next 73 Hub cities named as challengers in many sectors of the city economy. Global Hub cities rising in the analyst rankings this year included Bordeaux, Vancouver, Budapest, Tel Aviv, Orlando and Shenzhen. Well-known cities the analysts discounted significantly this year included St Petersburg, Moscow and Buenos Aires (replaced in South America by São Paulo). Russia's Nizhny Novgorod technology city and Rostov-na-Donu entered the Index for the first time, as Mumbai became India's first Hub city. Cape Town this year became the first African Hub city. Adelaide in Australia also became an Asian Hub based on new investment activity. The balance of cities were classified as Node cities or in two lower performance bands. According to the analyst’s classification, Node cities are globally competitive for innovation. The lower two bands of Upstart and Influencer were names as strong classifications for developing cities. In 2011 there were 331 cities benchmarked for innovation, up from 289 cities in 2010 and compared with 256 cities in 2009. The top 125 cities were ranked by the analysts based on 21 current global trends, listed in the accompanying Innovation Cities Analysis report. The indicators framework, models and global analysis of trend impact were also outlined in the report. 2thinknow launched the index in 2007 and expanded the index in 2009 to 289 cities. Each year, the global index and top rankings are released with four regional indexes, that classify and rank the top cities for North & South America, Europe, Asia and Emerging regions. In 2007 the analysts predicted the Global Financial Crisis as a "September (2008) shock event", and Indexes predicted London's fall and foresaw counter-cyclical strong performance of German and French cities overall. Cities move in the Index rankings over 2 or 3 year periods. According to the analysts innovation potential realised in 2011 translates into economic benefits in 2013 to 2016, and social benefits after this period. The analysts noted that city performance can be faster to turn around than overall national performance. --- ENDS--- SPOKESPERSON Christopher Hire Executive Director 2thinknow ICP +61 3 86780319 TIME: Melbourne, Australia (AEST) Rapid email:

About 2thinknow.

2thinknow is the world’s first innovation agency established in Melbourne in 2006. The Innovation Cities Program by 2thinknow commenced in 2007 from 2005 research. 2thinknow develops innovative data collection and analysis techniques based on sector innovation by city location. 2thinknow delivers City Benchmarking Data, analyst reports, the Innovation Course and other innovation services to city, business and government clients. See








Report: Data:

Notes for Editors

Updated index

2thinknow’s city benchmarking data set contains 1,540 cities. In 2011, the number of cities appearing in the yearly published scores and rankings was 331, up from 289 cities in 2010. The new inclusions reflected previously omitted destinations in the Emerging, Asian and Americas regions. There is a base level of development, population and services required to appear in the Index. The Innovation Cities™ Index purpose is to measure the development of innovation economies globally. The index measures the 3 factor preconditions for innovation -- Cultural Assets, Human Infrastructure and Networked Markets. To make it easy to read the indexes 2thinknow publish a global top 100, global full, and 4 regional indexes: Americas, Asia, Europe and Emerging. 2thinknow also will publish again this year national innovation economy statistics based on how many cities are represented and their relative influence on the innovation economy at a national and regional level. These are only in beta stage, as we will need to add more information regarding excluded cities for a comprehensive national picture.

Quick facts about the Index.

  • The worldwide rankings are produced annually by analysts at innovation consulting analysts, 2thinknow.
  • The index is not a survey, but is independently researched by 2thinknow analysts.
  • The index was first produced in 2007 with 22 cities from 95 profiled.
  • City benchmarking data, contains all global cities benchmarked on 162 city indicators.
  • Data is updated between April and September, with more than 50% of indicators being refreshed in this period.
  • Explanation of the 162 city indicators, and how cities can become innovation economies are contained in the Innovation Cities Analysis Report, from 2thinknow.
  • All cities scores are weighted against 21 current change trends (detailed and available in the report).

Reproducing the Index

The indexes and supporting materials are copyright and used under license by 2thinknow. You may reproduce the statistics and indexes in any reasonable form, graphics, or data mash-up as long as you attribute it to 2thinknow and do not modify the numbers or otherwise mislead. Print journalists can attribute in the standard fashion, or the other easy way to do this online is as follows: Source: 2thinknow Innovation Cities™ Program: [or the link of the page you are referencing] 2thinknow do reserve all rights, including the right to ask content to be removed.

City Benchmarking Data.

City benchmarking data can be used to create your own indexes or rankings. This can ordered by contacting 2thinknow for City Data Audits, or comparisons between any cities on 1 segment or all segments of the economy. There are 31 industry and community segments. Further information is available from 2thinknow ICP Team, by contacting us here or calling Melbourne +61 3 86780319. Or, you can visit the City Benchmarking Data site here for full details.

City ranking Tables / Lists for reproduction.

Links to the cities indexes & national statistics


Innovation Cities™ Top 100 Index (Top 33 Nexus cities listed).

Nexus cites are the top 10% of cities worldwide listed in the annual index for 2011.

1     Boston                  MA    United States     AMERICAS    1 NEXUS     29
2     San Francisco Bay Area  CA    United States     AMERICAS    1 NEXUS     29
3     Paris                         France            EUROPE      1 NEXUS     29
4     New York                NY    United States     AMERICAS    1 NEXUS     29
5     Vienna                        Austria           EUROPE      1 NEXUS     28
6     Amsterdam                     Netherlands       EUROPE      1 NEXUS     28
7     Munich                        Germany           EUROPE      1 NEXUS     28
8     Lyon                          France            EUROPE      1 NEXUS     27
9     Copenhagen                    Denmark           EUROPE      1 NEXUS     27
10    Toronto                       Canada            AMERICAS    1 NEXUS     27
11    London                        United Kingdom    EUROPE      1 NEXUS     27
12    Frankfurt                     Germany           EUROPE      1 NEXUS     27
13    Hamburg                       Germany           EUROPE      1 NEXUS     27
14    Berlin                        Germany           EUROPE      1 NEXUS     26
15    Hong Kong                     Hong Kong         ASIA        1 NEXUS     26
16    Milan                         Italy             EUROPE      1 NEXUS     26
17    Melbourne               VIC   Australia         ASIA        1 NEXUS     26
18    Stuttgart                     Germany           EUROPE      1 NEXUS     26
19    Barcelona                     Spain             EUROPE      1 NEXUS     25
20    Sydney                  NSW   Australia         ASIA        1 NEXUS     25
21    Stockholm                     Sweden            EUROPE      1 NEXUS     25
22    Tokyo                         Japan             ASIA        1 NEXUS     25
23    Rome                          Italy             EUROPE      1 NEXUS     25
24    Shanghai                      Shanghai          China ASIA  1 NEXUS     25
25    Seattle                 WA    United States     AMERICAS    1 NEXUS     25
26    Singapore                     Singapore         ASIA        1 NEXUS     25
27    Strasbourg                    France            EUROPE      1 NEXUS     25
28    Seoul                         Korea, South      ASIA        1 NEXUS     25
29    Los Angeles             CA    United States     AMERICAS    1 NEXUS     25
30    Kyoto                         Japan             ASIA        1 NEXUS     25
31    Montréal                      Canada            AMERICAS    1 NEXUS     25
32    Manchester                    United Kingdom    EUROPE      1 NEXUS     25
33    Philadelphia            PA    United States     AMERICAS    1 NEXUS     25

Innovation Cities™ Index: Top 33 Nexus cities 3 factor

These are 3 factor scores for the top 33 Nexus cities.

CITY STATE COUNTRY Cultural Assets Human Infrastructure Networked Markets Rank Move
Boston Massachusetts United States 9 10 10 --
San Francisco Bay Area California United States 9 10 10 UP
Paris   France 10 9 10 DOWN
New York New York United States 10 9 10 UP
Vienna   Austria 10 9 9 DOWN
Amsterdam   Netherlands 9 9 10 DOWN
Munich   Germany 9 10 9 UP
Lyon   France 9 8 10 UP
Copenhagen   Denmark 9 9 9 DOWN
Toronto   Canada 9 9 9 UP
London   United Kingdom 9 9 9 UP
Frankfurt   Germany 8 9 10 DOWN
Hamburg   Germany 9 9 9 DOWN
Berlin   Germany 9 8 9 DOWN
Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong 8 9 9 UP
Milan   Italy 9 8 9 --
Melbourne VIC Australia 9 9 8 UP
Stuttgart   Germany 8 9 9 DOWN
Barcelona   Spain 9 8 8 UP
Sydney NSW Australia 8 8 9 UP
Stockholm   Sweden 8 8 9 DOWN
Tokyo Tokyo Japan 8 8 9 DOWN
Rome   Italy 9 7 9 DOWN
Shanghai Shanghai China 7 8 10 --
Seattle Washington United States 8 9 8 UP
Singapore   Singapore 7 9 9 UP
Strasbourg   France 8 8 9 UP
Seoul   Korea, South 8 8 9 DOWN
Los Angeles California United States 8 8 9 UP
Kyoto Kyoto Japan 8 8 9 DOWN
Montréal   Canada 9 9 7 UP
Manchester   United Kingdom 8 9 8 UP
Philadelphia Pennsylvania United States 7 9 9 DOWN

3 Factors:


Cultural Assets: Arts, culture, sports, music,environment, parks, spaces and creative factor
Human Infrastructure: Industry, business, manufacturing, technology, start-ups, retail, utilities, transport, mobility and implementation factor
Networked Markets: Economic, military, trade and global network connection factor

You should know (Disclaimer)

The Innovation Cities Indexes (the “Indexes”) are for information purposes only and are intended for as a general purpose ranking measuring the relative importance of cities to the innovation economy. Practise in this area is continually changing and emerging, so the methodologies and processes change from year to year, and the availability of data changes from city to city. While the Indexes have been prepared based upon the best available information, they are provided on an “as-is” basis, and 2thinknow accepts no responsibility/liability for the validity/accuracy (or otherwise) of the resources/data used to compile the Indexes. In no event will 2thinknow be liable to for any decision made or action taken in reliance of the results obtained through the use of, or the information and/or data contained in or provided by, the Indexes. 2thinknow and its representatives make no representations or warranties with respect to the Indexes, and disclaim all express, implied and statutory warranties of any kind, including, but not limited to, representations and implied warranties of quality, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.

Note: Those seeking more detailed data of comparative city performance should purchase City Benchmarking Data from 2thinknow, and create indexes tailored to their specific circumstances.

1 Boston
2 New York
3 San Francisco
4 Toronto
5 Washington DC
6 Philadelphia
7 Montréal
8 Seattle
9 Austin
10 Minneapolis-St Paul
11 Chicago
12 Ann Arbor
13 Los Angeles
14 Calgary
15 Raleigh-Durham
16 Québec
17 Vancouver
18 Springfield
19 Pittsburgh
20 Portland
21 Dallas-Fort Worth
22 Denver
23 Baltimore
24 São Paulo
25 Edmonton
26 Buenos Aires
27 Atlanta