The World’s Top 50 Science and Technology Hubs

East Asia Dominates the Global Innovation Landscape

In the year 2023, the world witnessed a wave of groundbreaking advancements in science and technology. From the of the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the United States to the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence, innovation has been at the forefront of global progress. This article explores the top 50 science and technology hubs that have been leading these transformative developments, as determined by the Global Innovation Index 2023. These hubs have been ranked based on their combined share of international patent applications and scientific publications, providing a comprehensive overview of the most influential centers of scientific and technological advancement.

East Asia Dominance in S&T:

The world’s top five science and technology hubs are all located in East Asia, showcasing the region’s dominance in the field of innovation. Topping the list is the Tokyo-Yokohama cluster in Japan, which accounted for just over 10% of all patent applications between 2018 and 2022. This cluster is closely followed by the Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou cluster in China and Hong Kong, which recorded a significant number of patent applications and scientific publications. South Korea’s Seoul, China’s Beijing, and China’s Shanghai-Suzhou complete the top five, further solidifying East Asia’s position as a global leader in science and technology.

The Rise of San Francisco Bay Area:

Among the top 50 science and technology hubs, the first American cluster to make the list is the San Jose-San Francisco Bay Area. Renowned for being the home of major tech companies such as Adobe, eBay, Google, and PayPal, this region has established itself as a hub of technological innovation. Notably, the San Francisco Bay Area, along with Cambridge in the United Kingdom, is recognized for its high concentration of science and technology-intensive clusters relative to population density.

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China’s Dominance and Global Impact:

For the first time, China has emerged as the country with the highest number of clusters among the top 100, with a total of 24 hubs. The United States closely follows with 21 clusters, while Germany boasts nine. China’s rise in the rankings is evident as nearly every Chinese cluster has seen an improvement compared to the previous year, with only Beijing experiencing a slight decline. This highlights China’s increasing influence in the global innovation landscape and its commitment to fostering scientific and technological advancements.

Middle-Income Economy Clusters:

While the majority of the top 50 science and technology hubs are located in high-income economies, there are several notable middle-income economy clusters that have made their mark. São Paulo in Brazil, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai in India, Tehran in Iran, and Istanbul and Ankara in Turkey are among the middle-income economy clusters outside of China that have demonstrated significant potential in driving scientific and technological progress.

Global R&D Expenditure:

According to the Global Innovation Index, the United States leads in research and development (R&D) expenditure, followed by China, Japan, Germany, and South Korea. This investment in R&D showcases the commitment of these countries to advancing scientific and technological frontiers. It is through these investments that groundbreaking discoveries and technological breakthroughs are made, shaping the future of innovation.


The world’s top 50 science and technology hubs provide a glimpse into the global landscape of innovation. East Asia’s dominance, with its top-ranked Tokyo-Yokohama cluster, highlights the region’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of science and technology. The rise of the San Francisco Bay Area and China’s increasing influence further underscore the dynamic nature of the global innovation ecosystem. As countries continue to invest in research and development, the future holds exciting possibilities for scientific and technological advancements that will shape our world.

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