Innovation Momentum 2022: The Global Top 100

Who is leading the innovation race? Find out in the "Innovation Momentum 2022: The Global Top 100" report

To uncover forward-thinking patent development and spotlight true technological contemporaries across industries, this is the first report to measure the dynamics of innovative strength over the last two years and recognize technology owners who outperform their peers. The result is a more inclusive list of innovators, capturing not only mature multinational innovators but also small start-ups with early disruptive innovation.

The Innovation Momentum approach

Many innovation rankings measure patent portfolio sizes combined with other selection criteria, such as patent filing rates, to uncover the front runners in patent development. These approaches often omit small start-ups with early disruptive innovation and over-rank on mature technology fields dominated by multinationals. The Innovation Momentum methodology follows the Patent Asset Index, an industry-trusted, scientifically developed index created to assess patents based not only on size but also takes into account the individual quality of all patent families belonging to a patent portfolio. 

The only condition a patent owner must fulfil to be considered as a Top 100 Innovation Momentum innovator is a portfolio size of at least 10 patent families. Other than that, there are no limitations. About 11 million active patent families are taken into account in determining the Top 100 innovators.   

 The Innovation Momentum approach is unique because it:

  • Recognizes patent owners with relatively small but high-quality portfolios 
  • Rewards patent owners with well-maintained portfolios 
  • Reflects the dynamics of thriving technologies  
  • Takes into account the differences of developments in all technology fields 
  • Considers the innovators' target markets.


Key findings from the Innovation Momentum 2022: The Global Top 100 report

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The Innovation Momentum  effectively identifies  innovators that outperform their peers without being dominated by portfolio size. 

The majority of innovators are based in the Americas, followed by Asia, and then Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) with the fewest. 

Distribution of technologies observed across the globe is uneven, with certain geographical areas focusing on certain technological domains. 

Companies that have worked on COVID- 19 vaccines are highly represented in the Global Top 100 list. 

Pharmaceuticals is the largest industry sector with a total of 17 innovators, mostly from the Americas, none from Asia and four from CEMEA. 

Human-machine interface  technology is one of the major drivers in the field of increasingly differentiated electronic devices. 

Strong focus on semiconductor device manufacturing, is observed, as opposed to design in the semiconductor space.  

Among the 16 academics and public research entities, all except one are from the U.S. or China, and a very high technological differentiation is evident from region to region. 


The 2022 Industry Sector Distribution of Top 100 Patent Owners 

Our chief observation of the 2022 list of innovators is the industries and subsequent technologies most represented in the top 100 are nearly a direct reflection of critical global topics. Economic pressures like the global pandemic and subsequent supply chain challenges are key themes driving developments in this year’s list.   

As we reach the second-year milestone of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the pharmaceuticals are at the top of the most innovative industries list, with continued vaccine development from Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and others. Highlighting the continued digital transformation of nearly every aspect of daily life, the information technologies industry is well represented on the list. This includes financial services companies like Ant Group and WeBank, as well as internet giants like Alphabet, Amazon, and Tencent.   

Technologies that are necessary to provision the most influential industries also appear throughout the report. For example, hardware from the semiconductor manufacturers like TSMC and electronics companies like Goodix are vital to supporting world’s continued digital transformation. The demand for rechargeable batteries for items such as mobile devices and electrical vehicles gives context to the chemical & materials category with innovators like Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), LG Chem, and Samsung SDI on the list.   

Changing environments and policies are also driving top innovators. For example, the tobacco industry shows representation in the consumer goods category as it continues to transform alongside reforms. We see patents in the automotive industry reflecting climate change action.   

Innovation Report 2022_Industry distribution-1

Innovation Momentum in the World’s Regions 

In a global economy with worldwide intertwined supply chains, it is worthwhile to convey a broader view of the top 100 patent owners.   

The Americas, namely the U.S., contributes almost half of the top 100 companies. These are concentrated in the pharmaceutics, medical technologies, and information technologies industry sectors. The Americas have the most diverse set of industry sectors, as opposed to Asia and CEMEA which have noticeable gaps.   

About a third of the companies are in the Asian region, which focuses on electronics, chemicals & materials, and information technologies. The remaining fifth comes from the CEMEA region with all but one innovator being in Central Europe.   

Innovation Report 2022_Regional distribution-1