New report ranks Canberra third in world innovation index

Thanks to a new global study, Canberra has taken out third place in the field of innovation.

UK-based fintech company Paymentsense created a worldwide ‘innovation index’ after analysing more than 50 capital cities around the world.

Coming in a highly commendable third-place was the nation’s capital, behind Washington DC and Paris.

Both Canberra and Washington DC recorded an innovation score of 75.5 out of 100, while Paris was just ahead with 79.3.

“For a small city, Canberra is rich in culture, history and national treasures,” the survey noted. “The city also ranks highly for its business innovation, which is attracting new talent, organisations and business events to the city.”

Most innovative cities in the world

In fact, in 2019, Canberra recorded a whopping 235,654 new business applications.

Furthermore, according to the survey, two million patent applications are currently in review.

Cities were scored on a variety of factors, and some of the data dates back to 2019, before businesses around the world were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When ranking the cities, researchers considered factors such as the number of patent applications registered on Google; the number of new business registrations in 2019; average monthly search volumes and trends for ‘how to start a business’; and the number of ‘Kickstarters’ and their average value.

Another factor taken into account was the number of universities and their rankings.

“While education does not, by definition, imply innovation, universities have long been establishments that luckily have the time and resources to innovate in various areas,” read a statement by Paymentsense.

For many people working in the innovation industry in Canberra, the third-place global ranking doesn’t come as a surprise.

According to Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN) CEO Petr Adamek, Canberra has what constitutes a highly concentrated and connected innovation ecosystem.

He attributes this to several of the same factors as in the Paymentsense survey, such as “world-class knowledge institutions, high level of new business formation, patent activity and PhDs per capita”.

While Mr Adamek noted that different methodologies would be likely to generate different results, he said it is great to see Canberra validated independently.

As well as what he described as the “clever, creative and collaborative people”, Mr Adamek attributed Canberra’s success to the engagement between world-class research and educational institutions and industry.

He also said the city’s innovation is helped by the “progressive government that invests in long-term future growth and a vibrant and connected ecosystem with support for innovators from the early stage through to when they export, to create a truly global impact”.

Currently, CBRIN connects around 20,000 people a year, with 7000-10,000 people able to connect through the network’s ecosystem.

Approximately 1500 people participate in the network’s workshops annually, and more than 100 new entrepreneurs are individually
consulted each quarter through CBRIN.

Originally published by Lottie Twyford on The RiotACT, 10 October 2021.