The World’s Top 50 Science and Technology Hubs

East Asia Dominates the Global Innovation Landscape

In the year 2023, the world witnessed another 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 remarkable growth of ChatGPT and artificial intelligence, innovation has been at the forefront of global progress. In this article, we explore the top 50 science and technology hubs worldwide, based on data from the Global Innovation Index 2023. These hubs have been ranked according to their combined share of international patent applications and scientific publications, providing valuable insights into the regions leading the charge in S&T innovation.

East Asia Dominance in S&T:

The data reveals a striking trend: the world’s five most significant science and technology hubs are all located in East Asia. These hubs have emerged as powerhouses of innovation, driving progress in various fields. Topping the list is the Tokyo-Yokohama cluster in Japan, accounting for just over 10% of all patent applications between 2018 and 2022. This region has established itself as a global leader in technological advancements, with a strong focus on research and development.

Cluster Country/Economy Patent Applications Scientific Publications

Tokyo-Yokohama 🇯🇵 Japan 127,418 115,020
Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou 🇨🇳/🇭🇰 China/Hong Kong 113,482 153,180
Seoul 🇰🇷 South Korea 63,447 133,604
Beijing 🇨🇳 China 38,067 279,485
Shanghai-Suzhou 🇨🇳 China 32,924 162,635

The Rise of the San Francisco Bay Area:

Breaking the East Asian dominance, the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States emerges as the first American cluster on the list. This region, home to major tech companies such as Adobe, eBay, Google, and PayPal, has established itself as a global hub for innovation. Known for its vibrant startup culture and entrepreneurial spirit, the Bay Area continues to drive technological advancements and shape the future of various industries.

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China’s Ascendancy:

A notable highlight of the rankings is China’s impressive performance. For the first time, China has surpassed all other countries, topping the list with the highest number of clusters among the top 100, boasting a total of 24. The United States follows closely with 21 clusters, while Germany secures the third position with nine clusters. This shift demonstrates China’s growing influence in the global innovation landscape.

Furthermore, nearly every Chinese cluster has risen in the rankings compared to the previous year, indicating a steady and consistent growth in S&T innovation. It is worth noting that Beijing, one of China’s prominent hubs, experienced a slight decline in its position.

Middle-Income Economy Clusters:

While high-income economies dominate the list, several middle-income economy clusters have also made their mark. São Paulo in Brazil, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai in India, Tehran in Iran, Istanbul and Ankara in Turkey, and Moscow in Russia have emerged as notable science and technology hubs outside of China. These clusters showcase the potential for growth and innovation in middle-income economies, contributing to the global S&T landscape.


The Global Innovation Index 2023 sheds light on the world’s top 50 science and technology hubs, showcasing the regions at the forefront of innovation. East Asia’s dominance, particularly in Japan, China, and South Korea, highlights their commitment to research, development, and technological advancements. The rise of the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States signifies the continued influence of American tech giants.

China’s ascendancy, with its impressive number of clusters and their improved rankings, demonstrates the country’s commitment to fostering innovation and becoming a global leader in science and technology. Additionally, the inclusion of middle-income economy clusters outside of China underscores the potential for growth and innovation in diverse regions.

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As the world continues to embrace the rapid pace of technological advancements, these science and technology hubs will play a crucial role in shaping the future of various industries and driving global progress. The rankings provide valuable insights into the regions leading the charge and serve as a testament to the power of innovation in shaping our world.