San Diego ranks No. 2 on list of world’s most inventive cities

A scene in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which ranks at the top of the world's most inventive cities.
(Attilio Maranzano / Attilio Maranzano)

Eindhoven, a city in the Netherlands, has beaten San Diego as the most innovative city in the world.

That’s according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which ranks cities around the world by calculating “patent density,” or the number of patents produced per a certain level of residents.


Eindhoven, for example, churned out 22.6 patents for every 10,000 residents, dramatically outpacing the 9 patents per 10,000 residents produced by San Diego.

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The top 10 list includes four American cities and 6 European ones. San Francisco follows San Diego at No. 3, while Boston clocks in at the seventh spot and Minneapolis at No. 9.

Under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the OECD keeps tabs on patents from more than 250 cities worldwide. The treaty set up a unified procedure for inventors to apply for patent protection in more than 100 countries that are part of the system.

Eindhoven has been known for years as a technology hub in Europe, with several universities and many companies involved in cutting-edge technology. It has a long history with electronics behemoth Phillips and is considered a center for design. In 2011, it was ranked as the world’s most intelligent community, according to the Intelligent Community Forum.


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