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Tech firms dominate Reuters' list of top 100 innovators in 2012

Semiconductor industry came out on top, with 18 companies represented

By Sophie Curtis, TechWorld
December 04, 2012 05:25 PM ET

TechWorld - Technology firms dominated Thomson Reuters' 2012 list of the World's Top 100 Most Innovative Organisations, with the semiconductor industry leading the march, but UK companies were noticeably lacking from the list.

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Big names in the computer hardware industry such as IBM, HP, Hitachi and Fujitsu all made the top 100, as well as software firms Microsoft and Symantec. Apple, Alctael-Lucent and Ericsson all appeared in the telecommunication category, with Google representing media and internet search.

However, the real star of the show was the semiconductor industry, with 18 out of the top 100 falling into this category - a 29 percent increase over 2011. Companies include AMD, Intel, Qualcomm, TE Connectivity, SanDisk and Texas Instruments, among others. UK-based ARM was a noticable absentee.

According to Reuters, the Top 100 methodology, by virtue of its criteria, favours fast-moving, hyper-competitive industries such as computer hardware and semiconductors, where product lifecycles are short and advancements in technology are demanded by users.

"That is not to say, however, that other industries are not also innovating," said David Brown, managing director, Thomson Reuters IP Solutions.

"R&D spend in pharmaceutical/chemical-focused industries is among the top in the world. Many organisations in these sectors are extremely innovative, yet they adhere to a different innovation model."

There was a noticeable lack of any UK companies on the list. The US led, with 47 organisations on this list. Asia has the next highest, with 32, comprising 25 from Japan and 7 from South Korea. Europe had just 21 honorees, with the largest representation coming from France (13).

The Thomson Reuters 2012 Top 100 Global Innovator methodology is based on four principle criteria: overall patent volume, patent grant success rate, global reach of the portfolio and patent influence as evidenced by citations.

"Innovation is the foundation for economic prosperity and technological advancement," said Brown. "Our Top 100 Global Innovator methodology demonstrates the insight that can be gleaned from the analysis of patent data and confirms the fact that companies focused on innovating drive growth and financial success."

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