Announcing: Innovation Cities™ Index 2014 launch soon!

Classifying cities for the global innovation economy. Every year since 2007, 2thinknow have released classifications of global cities for innovation. Now it is nearing time for release of the Innovation Cities™ Index 2014. The Index for 2014 is complete, and release will be shortly. Package customers will receive a preview release on May 6 or May 7 in order to prepare their media releases. Order a package for a preview. Official release will be shortly after this during May 2014.

2014 Process

The scoring process for 2014 is almost the the same as 2013. In this way, 445 cities are scored and classified into 5 bands. There is our global index and 4 regional indexes for Americas, Europe, Asia and Emerging. Classifications are based on 3 Factor Scores as assessed by 2thinknow analysts relative to the current global story of social and economic conditions. This classification tells a city of it's current innovation potential at this time. This year for the first time all included cities are ranked. Previous global winners include Boston, New York and Vienna. Also sub regional rankings and winners will be announced this year.

5 City Classifications

The 5 bands for city classification range from critical to potential innovation junctures. The 5 bands are:

NEXUS: Critical nexus for multiple economic and social innovation segments

HUB: Dominance or influence on key economic and social innovation segments , based on global trends

NODE: Broad performance across many innovation segments, with key imbalances

INFLUENCER: Competitive in some segments, potential or imbalanced

UPSTART: Potential steps towards relative future performance in a few innovation segments.

Crystal Trophies and Award Certificates can be ordered online, or are included in Packages.

Global & Regions

These cities can be further classified according to the regions which are further divided into subregions. Hence besides the Global index, 2thinknow release the 4 regional and subregional Indexes. These regions are:

  • AMERICAS: USA, Canada and Latin America
  • EUROPE: Europe and Russia
  • ASIA: Asia, China, India, Japan and Australia/NZ
  • EMERGING: Mid-East, Africa and Eurasia.

Past Years

Performance can be compared among peers year on year since 2009. The basic top-level methodology has not changed since 2009. The Index has the same 3 factors since origination in 2007. See all years and Index explanation here:

3 Factor Scores

Indexes are assessed for innovation on 3 factors that mirror the 2thinknow innovation process. These are:

Cultural Assets: Measurable sources of ideas (e.g. designers, art galleries, sports, museums, dance, nature, etc)

Human Infrastructure: Soft and hard infrastructure to implement innovation (transport, universities, business, venture capital, office space, government, technology, etc.)

Networked Markets: Basic conditions and connections for innovation (location, military, economies of related entities etc)

This is based on 2thinknow's extensive model of the stages of innovation. See Innovation Model. As innovation moves from idea to implementation and is communicated for ultimate adoption of the innovation.

Core Data

The Innovation Cities™ Index is assessed based on an underlying data set 162 indicators of City Benchmarking Data. Each indicator contains 3-10 data points plus benchmark scores. This data is available for purchase. City core performance is analyzed against current global and regional trends. The 2thinknow City Benchmarking Data-set is available for purchase by indicator on a single city or comparative city data-set. See All data purchased from 2thinknow has a 30 day replacement guarantee.


The Innovation Cities™ Index is publicly available from this website and is promoted in numerous media and online.


The Index 3 Factor scores are free to use for academic or personal use, including publication.*

Accompanying Report

Along with the Innovation Cities™ Index, the Innovation Cities™ Analysis report will be released. This report summarizes the indicators, segments, Innovation Cities™ Framework, and trends/worldview. The report explains the ideas and assumptions behind the Index and the Innovation Cities™ Program. The report can be pre-ordered online from 2thinknow. Click here to order online now. Or here for more information. *Such a license is non-exclusive and does not confer any additional rights or warranties of suitability or merchantability. The Innovation Cities™ Index is a free product copyright and produced by 2thinknow under license. All rights are reserved.