Thanks to a new global survey, Canberra has taken third place in innovation.
The British fintech company Paymentsense created a worldwide ‘innovation index’ after analyzing more than 50 capitals around the world.
Coming in a very 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 town, Canberra is rich in culture, history and national treasures,” the study noted. “The city also ranks high for its business innovation, which attracts new talent, organizations and business events to the city.”
In fact, in 2019, Canberra registered a total of 235,654 new business applications.
According to the study, two million patent applications are currently pending.
Cities were scored on a number of factors, and some of the data dates back to 2019, before companies around the world were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When locating 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 that was taken into account was the number of universities and their rankings.
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“Although education by definition does not involve innovation, universities have long been companies that fortunately have the time and resources to innovate in different areas,” it said in a statement from Paymentsense.
For many people working in the innovation industry in Canberra, the global ranking of third place does not 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, e.g. “World-class knowledge institutions, high level of education, patent activity and PhDs per capita”.
While Adamek noted that different methods would likely yield different results, he said it is nice to see Canberra validated independently.
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In addition to what he described as the “smart, creative and collaborative people”, Mr Adamek attributed Canberra’s success to the commitment between world-class research and educational institutions and industry.
He also said the city’s innovation is aided by the “progressive government investing in long – term future growth and a vibrant and connected ecosystem of support for early-stage innovators to export, to create a truly global impact”.
Currently, CBRIN connects around 20,000 people a year, where 7000-10,000 people can connect via the network’s ecosystem.
Approximately 1,500 people participate annually in the network’s workshops, and more than 100 new entrepreneurs are consulted individually each quarter through CBRIN.