Smart Centres Index 4

The fouth edition of the Smart Centres Index (SCI 4) was published on 29 November 2021. SCI 4 rates the innovation and technology offerings of leading commercial and financial centres across the world.

The Smart Centres Index focuses on financial and commercial centres across the world in relation to their approach to and delivery of innovation and technology, including Science, Energy Systems, Machine Learning, and Fintech, along with other applications.

The SCI is a factor assessment index, combining a number of instrumental factors - data measures drawn from a range of data providers across the world - and assessments given by business and finance professionals of three dimensions related to innovation and technology in major commercial and financial centres:

  • Innovation Support - the support provided by regulatory and other systems to innovation and technology in a centre.
  • Creative Intensity - the intensity of technology and innovation services and opportunities in a centre.
  • Delivery Capability - the quality of the technology and innovation work that is taking place in a centre.

131 commercial and financial centres were researched for SCI 4 of which 72 are included in the index. SCI 4 was compiled using 130 instrumental factors. These quantitative measures are provided by third parties including the World Bank, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the OECD, and the United Nations.

The instrumental factors are combined with financial centre assessments provided by respondents to the GFCI online questionnaire. SCI 4 uses 2,157 assessments from 302 respondents.

SCI 4 Results

  • New York regained its first position in the index, remaining the only US centre in the top 10.
  • London took second place, with Oxford, Cambridge, Hong Kong, and Singapore taking the next places.
  • Copenhagen joins the index in 8th place, replacing Geneva in the top 10.
  • Only three centres rose 10 or more places in the rankings in SCI 4, while six centres fell 10 or more places.
  • The average rating for all centres fell just over 1%.
  • Western European centres feature strongly, with seven centres in the top 10, alongside New York in first place, and Hong Kong and Singapore from Asia/Pacific.
  • US and Chinese centres do not feature as highly in the index as might be expected given the extent of their development in technology, as shown by their leading position in the filing of patents and with China leading the US on this measure.
  • Looking at the dimensions that make up the SCI, US centres generally rank lower for Creative Intensity than their overall rank; and Chinese and other Asia/Pacific centres score lower for Innovation Support, including regulation, than they do for the other dimensions.
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