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US Named Top Global Tech Innovation Leader, China in second spot: KPMG report

US tops list as Global Tech Innovation Leader

Shanghai, Tokyo, London, New York seen as leading tech hubs outside Silicon Valley/San Francisco; Significantly more startups adding jobs after 2018.



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The US has been named the most promising market for innovation and technology breakthroughs that have global impact for the second year, with China following, both seen as leading regions of innovation and disruption, according to KPMG's 2018 Global Technology Innovation Report (PDF 3.57 MB).

In keeping the US on top, more than one-third (34 percent) of those surveyed named the US as the most promising market for tech breakthroughs compared to 26 percent in last year's report. China remained second at 26 percent, and India ranked third at 13 percent, with the UK and Japan fourth. The report highlights key findings from a survey of nearly 800 technology industry leaders globally about technology innovation, leadership and market trends.

“Innovation from the US and China technology industries continue to drive economic value and this year's survey underscores that point,” said Tim Zanni, Global and US Technology Sector Leader. “Just look at the investments the key platform companies are making in AI, IoT, robotics and other technologies that have great influence on the way business and consumers engage within our society.”

Zanni added that “globally, the US and China are in fierce competition for ideas, market leadership and economic power and the US market is attracting major China tech giants who know they must have a footprint in the US to maximise their growth.”

Geographically Diverse Leading Cities

Technology industry leaders were asked which three cities, in addition to Silicon Valley/San Francisco, will be the leading technology innovation hubs over the next 4 years. Unlike last year, when the US and China dominated the Top 10, this year's Top 10 includes cities from the Americas, Asia, Europe and Israel.

1. Shanghai
2. Tokyo
3. London and New York
5. Beijing and Singapore
7. Seoul
8. Tel Aviv and Bangalore
10. Berlin

“Innovation has become decentralised globally with some cities making great progress while others still face macroeconomic and infrastructure challenges,” said Zanni. “Many factors affect a city's perception as an innovation hub, including favorable government policies and incentives, accelerators, tech parks, corporate investment, state-of-the-art infrastructure and, in all cases, at least a few highly successful and wildly popular success stories.”

Revenue growth now top innovation measurement

Technology business leaders globally said revenue growth is the top metric to measure the success of tech innovation in their organisations, replacing patents, which fell out of the top three. Market share and return on investment were second and third.

CIO rises as innovation driver

Asked to name what function/role has the responsibility to drive innovation in their company, respondents for the first time cited most often the Chief Information Officer ahead of the Chief Innovation Officer. However, respondents in China cited the Chief Innovation officer most often.

Employee hiring set to grow due to economic growth, confidence

More than 90 percent of the global poll said they would hire up to 100 employees in the near future, a sharp increase from 68 percent a year ago. A stronger economic climate was reflected in the global startup survey responses and reflected in their optimistic plans to hire new employees, although one third indicated they won't be hiring over the next 12 months.

Innovation Visionaries

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was named the top global technology visionary, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai second, followed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg third, and Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma fourth. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Bill Gates tied for fifth. Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook were seventh. Google was again cited as the leading visionary company in driving tech innovation. Apple, Microsoft, and Tesla were second, third and fourth. Amazon and Alibaba tied for fifth.

About the KPMG 2018 Global Technology Innovation report

Being released in two parts, the annual report captures tech innovation findings based on the views of 767 business executives globally (including 120 US) from companies, venture capital firms, and other investors that focus on technology. Part 1, Global technology innovation hubs: Forging new paths to outpace the competition, was released today.

For more information, please contact:

Lauren Mostowyk
KPMG International
+ 1 416 777 3155

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 154 countries and territories and have 200,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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