The World’s Top 50 Science and Technology Hubs

East Asia Dominates the Global Innovation Landscape

In 2023, the world witnessed a wave of groundbreaking science and technology (S&T) innovations. From the of the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the U.S. to the remarkable growth of ChatGPT and artificial intelligence, the realm of S&T has continued to push the boundaries of human progress. This article explores the top 50 science and technology hubs worldwide, 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, offering a glimpse into the regions leading the charge in S&T advancements.

East Asia Dominance in S&T:

When it comes to science and technology, East Asia reigns supreme. The top five science and technology hubs in the world are all located in this region. Topping the list is the Tokyo-Yokohama cluster in Japan, which accounted for over 10% of all patent applications between 2018 and 2022. This vibrant hub showcases Japan’s commitment to innovation and its significant contributions to the global S&T landscape.

Following closely behind is the Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou cluster, spanning both China and Hong Kong. This dynamic region has seen a surge in patent applications and scientific publications, solidifying its position as a leading S&T hub. South Korea’s Seoul takes the third spot, with impressive numbers in both patent applications and scientific publications. Beijing and Shanghai-Suzhou, both in China, round out the top five, further emphasizing East Asia’s dominance in the field of science and technology.

The Rise of the San Francisco Bay Area:

While East Asia takes the lead, the first American cluster on the list is the San Francisco Bay Area. This region, home to major tech giants such as Adobe, eBay, Google, and PayPal, has long been at the forefront of technological innovation. With its thriving ecosystem, the San Francisco Bay Area continues to foster groundbreaking advancements in science and technology.

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Notably, the San Francisco Bay Area, along with Cambridge in the United Kingdom, stands out as one of the most S&T-intensive clusters relative to its overall population density. This highlights the concentration of talent, resources, and innovation in these regions, propelling them to the forefront of global S&T hubs.

China’s Ascendancy and Global Reach:

In a significant shift, China has emerged as the country with the highest number of clusters among the top 100, with a total of 24. This reflects China’s commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and its rapid rise as a global S&T powerhouse. The United States closely follows with 21 clusters, while Germany boasts nine. China’s clusters have witnessed a rise in rankings compared to the previous year, with only Beijing experiencing a slight decline.

Notably, several middle-income economy clusters outside China have made their mark on the global S&T landscape. São Paulo in Brazil, Bengaluru, Delhi, Chennai, and Mumbai in India, Tehran in Iran, and Istanbul and Ankara in Turkey are among the notable hubs that have showcased their potential for S&T advancements.

Investment in Research and Development:

According to the Global Innovation Index, the United States leads in research and development (R&D) expenditure, followed by China, Japan, Germany, and the Republic of Korea. This highlights the ongoing commitment of these countries to invest in cutting-edge research and foster an environment conducive to innovation. As S&T hubs continue to evolve and drive progress, sustained investment in R&D remains crucial for maintaining their competitive edge.


The world’s top 50 science and technology hubs exemplify the global landscape of innovation and progress. With East Asia taking the lead, these hubs serve as beacons of scientific advancements, driving economic growth and shaping the future. As countries and regions continue to invest in research and development, the global S&T landscape will undoubtedly witness further transformations. The interplay between talent, resources, and innovation will be instrumental in shaping the next wave of breakthroughs that propel humanity forward.

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