In a 2018 report, Forbes identified a trend that was sweeping the world. This trend is the rise of the…

In a 2018 report, Forbes identified a trend that was sweeping the world. This trend is the rise of the multi-sector innovation hub.  All over the world these hubs bring together business sectors and models, infrastructures and physical resources to enable and drive true innovation. Here, we look at 5 leading industries driving the innovation hub conversation.


The biotechnology space is unique in that it is a technology designed for the betterment of human life through DNA. As technology has advanced dramatically over the last three decades, the biotechnology space is one that has grown exponentially as a result of it. Naturally, cities looking to create innovation hubs have identified biotechnology as a cornerstone of the future of innovation and the betterment of human life. Boston, San Diego and Copenhagen house just three of the leading biotech innovation hubs in the world. In a 2018 report, biotechnology jobs have grown 28% over the last decade, and Boston alone has seen more BioPharma industry jobs become available over the same time period.  Known as the Cambridge-Boston. USA biotech cluster, the hub is home to firms that have attracted more than $14bn in investments from venture capitalists.


The Information Communication Technologies (ICT) industry seems almost like a cheat, for it is the very backbone of modern technology today. Innovation in ICT defines our very existence, with tablets, television, smartphones and even the internet.  As far as innovation hubs go, San Francisco, Tokyo and Beijing are recognised as true world leaders. Beijing in particular, has seen more than $70bn in venture capital funding since 2015 alone. At the heart of Beijing is the Zhongguancun Science Park, China’s very own Silicon Valley. Zhongguancun was founded nearly 30 years ago and has since become the key driver in turning China into a technological powerhouse. It houses around 9,000 technology companies from all over the world, including Google, Intel, Oracle and IBM to name a few.

Medical Science

Not too dissimilar to Biotechnology, the Medical Science industry is one that seeks to improve the prevention and treatment of disease and health issues. Walking hand in hand with technology and innovation, it is an industry that an increasing number of cities around the world are focusing their efforts as they look to build their innovation hubs. Tel Aviv, Eindhoven and Los Angeles are three of the major innovation hubs for medical science. Tel Aviv in particular, is home to a burgeoning digital health sector. At its internationally recognised Tel Aviv University (TAU) sits the BioMed @TAU. This collective of biomedical Research Hubs at Tel Aviv University performs a vast array of research, encompassing basic to translational research spread across several faculties and hospitals. The Hubs gather together scientists from across the university and TAU-affiliated hospitals that share overlapping research interests. These collaborative groups host conferences and events related to their subject area in order to highlight advances in the field as well as in their own research. The Hubs also provide the opportunity to strengthen collaborative research between scientists at TAU and leverage opportunities for collaborative research, joint grant applications and external funding.


Once upon a time, nanotech was known more for science fiction than reality but over the course of recent history, nanotech has entered the innovation conversation and transforming the way we use technology. Singapore, Daejeon and Lyon are but three key cities in which research into nanotechnology has established them as key innovation hubs. Lyon, once dubbed the “Land of Innovation” has been ranked as 8th in the world for nanotech developments. Home to the Institute of Nanotechnology of Lyon (INL) is a joint research unit designed to develop multidisciplinary technological research in the field of micro and nanotechnologies and their applications. Founded in 2006, INL sits on the campus of Ecole Centrale Lyon and supports the overall mission statement of ensuring that the education its students receive aligns with the needs of industrial enterprises, so that the engineering students of today can best respond to the scientific and societal challenges of tomorrow.


Frankfurt is a city that lives and breathes pharmaceutical innovation. It is home to the FiZ Frankfurt Biotechnology Innovation Centre, a market-oriented technology centre offering small and medium-sized businesses in the life sciences field a unique basis for innovation and growth. In recent years, FIZ has enhanced its reputation as a true platform for innovation networks, having entered into a partnership with CEDEM AG Germany, a pioneering company in the healthcare sector, as it expanded its reach into the MENA region. FIZ is working to achieve a data-based optimization of cancer therapies through genetic profiling as it looks to adopt this innovative approach to more than 365.000 expected cancer cases in 2020.

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