Innovation Cities™ Indexes

The Innovation Cities™ Index  is the world’s leading index classification and top ranking of cities potential as innovation economies. There are 500 cities in the 2016-2017 Index. Our analysis is different and enlightening as it defines based on their potential for creation, implementation and communication of ideas in their urban economies.

2016-2017 released by 2thinknow.


10th Year Global

The Innovation Cities™ Index is an index available over many years. Following are the Innovation Cities™ Indexes for all years:

Current: 2016-2017

2015 | 2014 | 2012-13 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007


All cities in the Index are classified for global innovation based on their potential for innovation performance across 31 segments of their city economy.

These are the 4 classes in 2016-2017:

Nexus | Hub | Node | Upstart

See > Classification explained

By Place

For evaluation of your region, there are 4 regional indexes:

Americas (USA, Canada & Latin America)|
Europe (Europe, Israel, Turkey & Russia)
Asia (China, India, Japan, Asia, Australia, NZ)
Emerging (Africa, Mid-East, Eurasia)

Index Method.

The basis of each year’s Index is the Innovation Cities™ Framework analysis of Factors, Segments, Indicators and Data Points.


We summarize every city on 3 factors and freely publish this score.

Cultural Assets of a city from arts to sports industries.
Human Infrastructure, from mobility to start-ups, health, finance and more.
Networked Markets, the power of a city in a networked world.


In our commercial analysis, the 3 factors are broken down into 31 industry & community segments. 2thinknow have provided analysis on innovation in these segments in reports to clients like Ernst & Young and speeches or training for industries like global banking.

Review the 31 segments.


Detailed commercial data is available for 162 indicators that our analysts use to create the final 3 factor city index score and ranking of top cities. This uniquely standardized data, City Benchmarking Data is available for a single city or by indicator for any of 525 cities.

Here is the current list of 162 indicators.

Index Resources for Cities.

Innovation City Indexes are an introduction to Program Products and Packages which City Government can participate in to communicate and improve each cities economic and social development through innovation.


The Report reveals methodology and 162 indicators, as well as the global Context.


162 Indicators for any cities including scores and analysis. Purchase only the data you need.

Single City Data Set
Comparative City Data Set


Award and reward your city with trophies and certificates available for 2012, and prior years.


Previous Indexes received global coverage from Reuters, BI, Entrepreneur, FP, Huffington Post, Boston Globe & newspapers.


Some more about the Methodology

Cities are selected based on health, wealth, population and geographical factors. Indicators are observed and collected for all major cities. Since 2009, this has been 162 indicators. These are bench marked using guides, in an annual process called the Global Innovation Review. Scores are reduced to 3 factors (comprised of a mix of indicators) — with each score out of 10.

These are summed to form a score our of 60 (2012-15) and 30 (2007-11), which is known as a band score. Cities that achieve the same band score range are competitive, and classified into the 5 classes.

The full explanation is to be ordered in the Innovation Cities Analysis Report. In this report the Factors, Segments and Indicators are explained, and the logic behind their functioning.

Summary information re the current Index: FAQ & Overview.

The First Index for Innovation Economies

Established in 2007, with 22 cities released. In 2009 this was expanded to 256 cities, with reference to 162 indicators. During this time scoring of the indicators has undergone 3 review cycles. The 2011 2015 Indexes was the result of this analysis work, including the addition of 244 new cities to 2015, with more changes to come in 2016. Since this time the Index has featured in over 7,000 media articles globally.

View the latest Innovation Cities™ Indexes here.