Innovation Cities™ Index 2015 & 2014: Overview

All of the most recent city rankings here. (Or, all years)

An index based on pre-conditions for an innovation economy.

3 Factors which Model an Innovation Economy.

Cities in the Innovation Cities™ Index are scored for innovation on 3 factors that capture the innovation process. The 3 factors are:

3-factorsCultural 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)

These 3 factors are based on 2thinknow’s extensive model of the stages of innovation process. In short, as innovation moves from idea to implementation and then, communication.

The 3 factors measure the preconditions for turning an innovative idea into an implemented successful global (or regional) innovation, using the 2thinknow Innovation Development Life Cycle model developed in 2006-7.

In short ideas implementation and communication with a 4th phase used to assess feasibility. This model is taught in the Innovation Course for business and cities and has been published since the 2007 edition of our report.

The idea allows cities to turn ideas into innovation with a structured process, and is unique to 2thinknow.

5 Innovation Classifications.

Based on their 3 factor score, all cities are graded into award categories. In descending order of importance to the innovation economy, these 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.

Regional Classifications.

The cities are classified into 4 regions. Since 2012, these regions are further divided into subregions. These regions and subregions are as follows:

AMERICAS: USA, Canada and Latin America

EUROPE: Europe and Russia

ASIA: Asia, China, India, Japan and Australia & NZ

EMERGING: Mid-East, Africa, and Eurasia

The Innovation Cities Index can be analyzed by regions as well as by subregions. *Israel is included in Europe.

For more details.

Purchase City Benchmarking Data: All data for a single city or a mix of indicators to compare cities.

Read the Innovation Cities Analysis Report to understand the underlying framework and thinking.

Or select a Service Package for a package of analysis on cities.

Methodology in brief.

The Index is the most comprehensive city ranking and scoring. Each city was selected from 1,540 cities based on basic factors of health, wealth, population, geography as well as potential relative to peers. The final cities in 2014/2015 had data extracted on 162 indicators under the city benchmarking data program. Each of the benchmarking data was scored by analysts using best available qualitative analysis and quantitative statistics (see City Benchmarking Data to purchase city data).

Underlying data was then balanced against current global trends, by analysts to form a simplified 3 factor score for Cultural Assets, Human Infrastructure and Networked Markets. For city classification, these scores were competitively graded into 5 bands (Nexus, Hub, Node, Influencer, Upstart) based on how broad based (multiple indicators) the city performance was.

The top 30% of cities in the Nexus and Hub were ranked by analysts based on comparison of current innovation potential.

From this global Index 4 regional indexes for Americas, Europe, Asia and Emerging are then also produced.

Please note the full list on the index page is classified (Node, Influencer, Upstart) not ranked except where a rank is noted. Rankings are just for general information. A node ranking is considered globally competitive. More discussion and questions answered in this  FAQ (2014 & 2015).

For more details on methodology, please see the FAQ (2014 & 2015) or order the Innovation Cities Analysis Report.

About 2thinknow Innovation Cities™ Program.

Based in Melbourne Australia, 2thinknow is the world’s first innovation agency. Established 2006, we have designed original models to measure and deliver innovation to cities, business seeking new markets and growth, and NGO/government clients.

2thinknow's Innovation Cities™ Program provides powerful tools for creating an innovation economy. This includes the City Benchmarking Data™ details on cities by segment globally, analyst reports such as the flagship Innovation Cities™ Analysis Report. In the Innovation Course, we are teaching our clients new innovation methods and practices. 2thinknow work with other clients through innovation consulting, analyst reports, projects  and innovation services, as well as a number of online resources and groups.

2thinknow have published the Innovation Cities™ Indexes city rankings free online since 2007.

This is 445 cities in the 2014 year, 500 in 2015, and this is the world’s largest and most diverse city index.

Contact 2thinknow here: or via twitter @2thinknow