2022 Global Innovation Hubs Report: Top Global Cities for Innovation

Cresa's trusted partner HICKEY released their Fourth edition of the coveted Global Innovation Hubs Report, highlighting the top global cities driving innovation.

The report, conducted utilizing state-of-the-art technology to assess billions of data points across nearly 400 markets, pinpoints the next hotbeds of business innovation and transformation around the world. The report ranks these centers in order to convey which locations are leading the way in key industries, as well as, indicating their location strength on a regional and global level.

The report, ranked Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York City as the top five markets, which were closely followed by London, Sydney, Singapore, Toronto, and San Jose. The report also details regional leaders and ranks the markets across categories such as patents, education, population demographics, research and investment figures, to determine which locations were not only showing strong innovation today, but are also investing in innovation for the future. 

The four major factors identified within Hickey research highlight that Global Innovation Hubs are:

Talent Magnets:

Cities and markets that have a young and growing “millennial” population with a multi-national profile and which have a workplace culture that is vibrant and provides a good live/work/play culture.

Innovative & Transformative:

Locations with a high concentration, frequency and number of startups and patents.

Learning & Collaborative Ecosystems:

Towns, cities and metropolitan clusters that lead in research and development, often linked with universities and associated with business and academic networks that encourage and celebrate innovation and knowledge sharing.

Venture Capital Hotbeds:

Locations and markets that attract high levels of investment into businesses, start-ups and R&D.


Not are markets ranked on a global, comprehensive level, but the team also highlighted the regions driving a number of key industries around the world, which includes:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive 
  • BioTech
  • FinTech
  • ICT
  • Medical Science
  • NanoTech
  • Pharmaceuticals

This report outlines and evaluates the factors currently driving innovation and business transformation. In the effort to identify the optimal locations around the world, we have defined the characteristics that support such active business transformation. In today’s dynamic business environment, this Global Innovation Hubs Report provides advantageous insights into data that tells the story of innovation. Defining what makes a city an innovation hub provides our team and its clients with an additional layer of information to consider when searching for future locations or reassessing current ones. 

“What our findings underline is that international corporations need to look at factors other than simply cost when considering locations for business expansion,” said Jason Hickey, President of Hickey & Associates. “The hubs and clusters of innovation that we have identified will drive economic growth regionally, nationally and internationally in the next few decades.”

Where and why a business is located has never been more important, and at the same time the set of variables that must be considered in the site selection process has evolved to become exponentially more vast, dynamic, and complex to interpret.


Click here to download a copy of the full report.