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June 2017

Seattle among top 10 North American cities for innovation

Seattle ranked No. 5 on a newly-published list of top cities for corporate innovation and R&D activity.

Innovation Leader, a magazine and website focused on innovation in large companies, used five factors to compile its rankings. It singled out San Francisco-San Jose as its top pick, with Boston, New York and Los Angeles rounding out the list of five most innovative cities.

"Our list focuses on something different than startups, entrepreneurship, or venture capital," said Scott Kirsner, editor and co-founder of Innovation Leader, in an announcement.  He explained the selection considers the amount of research-and-development and innovation activity that big companies do in each city - "whether that's Disney and other studios developing the future of entertainment in L.A., or Ford, Uber, and Toyota working on self-driving cars in Detroit."

The factors used for the rankings were:

  1. Global 1000 companies with R&D labs or innovation centers, and their R&D investment levels.
  2. Major tech companies with large partner ecosystems (such as Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Salesforce).
  3. Startup density, including accelerator programs, incubators, and co-working spaces.
  4. The presence of top-tier research universities.
  5. Conferences, trade shows, and networking events that foster interactions among corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and academic researchers.

Also making the list were Atlanta (#6), followed by Washington, D.C., Toronto, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Detroit.

The publication also added an "Up and Comers" list. The evaluators named Cleveland, St. Louis, Chicago, Portland, Ore., and Denver as "worth watching" in the coming year based on their rising level of corporate innovation and R&D activity.

Innovation Leader describes itself as an unbiased, independent information service run by a team of journalists, analysts, and media entrepreneurs focused on helping change-makers in large organizations deliver real impact. Its magazine reaches 25,000 executives focused on innovation within their companies.