Visualising Innovation Clusters

Innov Cluster Europe

Innov Cluster N America

McKinsey analysis of global innovation hubs (above top Europe, then N America and below Asia). Further details via an interactive map on their site. The graphics are based on one measure, number of patents, although they say that a number of parameters were taken into account in the final analysis.

Interesting stuff but need to always bear in mind:

  • the challenge in incorporating qualitative and quantitative measures/data in a convincing manner
  • visualising the full situation in an insightful manner (tricky as it’s nearly always multi-dimensional)

The nomenclature on the diagrams is:

Our data indicate that, depending on the strategy, mature innovation clusters will evolve toward one of the following categories:

  • Dynamic oceans: large and vibrant innovation ecosystems with continuous creation and destruction of new businesses. Leading innovators and primary sectors change organically as the hub frequently reinvents itself through significant breakthrough innovations.
  • Silent lakes: slow-growing innovation ecosystems backed by a narrow range of very large established companies that operate in a handful of sectors. These clusters are frequently the source of a steady stream of “evolutionary” innovations and step-wise improvements.
  • Shrinking pools: innovation hubs that are unable to broaden their areas of activity or increase their lists of innovators and so find themselves slowly migrating down the value chain, as their narrow sector becomes less innovation driven and increasingly commoditized.

Innov Cluster Asia

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