What prompts researchers, heads of corporations, startup founders, designers, architects, and artists to choose a particular city? Which megacities have an edge in the competition for the best minds?
To answer these and other questions, an expert team from Moscow’s Higher School of Economics — a top Russian university — has developed the ‘HSE Global Innovation Index’ (HSE GCII).
HSE GCII aims to identify the “underlying forces which attract actors of the knowledge economy to cities across the world,” and estimate “the combined influence of technological development, urban environment and creative industries.”
The index encompasses 36 global centers — from San Francisco, to Toronto, to Paris, to Moscow, to Shanghai. In what is presented as a world’s first, the ranking was calculated at the city level, with “a unique system” of 120 indicators being “unparalleled in terms of depth and coverage.” The 120 indicators of the HSE GCII were grouped into three blocks: Technological Development, Creative Industries, Urban Environment; and 20 sections.
The rationale behind creating the ranking is to “offer a verifiable benchmarking solution for assessing the key factors of attracting talent to cities.”
The ranking focuses on leading companies (mega-corporations, breakthrough startups, leading universities) and outstanding individuals (Nobel Prize laureates, highly cited researchers, renowned representatives of creative industries).
“They are the face and gravitational force of the city, sending messages to all other members within and outside the community,” HSE experts explain.
Moscow also ranked ninth in terms of the number of startups attracted. The Russian capital is at the 11th place for patent activity with 21,200 applications. These account for almost 20% of all Russian applications for registration of inventions.
Moscow ranked eighth among cities in the world in terms of innovative attractiveness. The Russian capital is ahead of Seoul and Singapore for the development of digital infrastructure, the number of Wi-Fi access points (36,642), scientific technology parks (39) and co-working spaces.