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Oxford ranked third most intensive science and innovation cluster in the world

Oxford has been recognised as one of the top science and innovation clusters in the world, according to new data released today from the upcoming 2023 Global Innovation Index (GII).

The index establishes clusters through analysis of patent-filing activity and scientific article publication, documenting the geographical areas around the world with the highest density of inventors and scientific authors. This data forms part of the latest GII, which is due to be published in full later this month (Sept 27).

The Oxford cluster, which covers an approximate 5-10k radius from the centre of Oxford, filed 2,934 PCT patent applications and published 34,176 scientific articles, both per 1 million inhabitants over the last five years, making it the third science and technology cluster by intensity (relative to population density) in 2023. This year Cambridge took the top spot, followed by San Jose, San Francisco, in second place.

The University of Oxford is a cornerstone of Oxford’s thriving innovation ecosystem which has grown and developed substantially in recent years. Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts. It has created 300 new companies since 1959, with over a third of these companies created in the last five years.

Professor Irene Tracey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said, “I am thrilled to see Oxford recognised as a leading science and technology cluster and I am extremely proud of the role that the University plays in catalysing innovation through its incredible research and talented people. Together with partners across the Oxfordshire ecosystem, such as Oxford University Innovation and Oxford Science Enterprises, alongside investment from the private sector nationally and internationally, we are working to create more space, more opportunities, and secure more investment to provide the optimum environment to accelerate innovation so that we continue to make global impact.”

The GII science and technology clusters are one element in the larger GII, which takes the pulse of the most recent trends in global innovation. The report ranks the innovation ecosystem performance of economies around the globe each year, while highlighting innovation strengths and weaknesses and particular gaps in innovation metrics.

The GII was founded in 2007 by Soumitra Dutta, who is now Dean of the Said Business School at the University of Oxford. He said, “In today’s age of breakneck technological advances and significant environmental challenges, our unique global pulse check on the state of innovation has never been more important. Over the last 16 years, we have seen the GII help to shape the innovation policies and agenda in many countries, and this year will be no exception. It is pleasing to release this snapshot, ahead of our full publication, not least with a result that highlights the extraordinary impact Oxford has on the world.”

Cluster Highlights: Oxford, Cambridge & London

The United Kingdom has 3 clusters within the GII 2023 top 100 science and technology cluster ranking: Oxford, Cambridge and London.

• On a rank per-capita basis, Cambridge (1st) and Oxford (3rd) occupy 2 of the top 3 intensity ranking slots, with San Jose–San Francisco in second, ahead of Boston (5th), Paris (40th) and London (72nd).
• Cambridge published the most S&T articles per capita, at just over 37,000 per one million people, with 13% of the top publishing organizations having articles within the technology domain.
• Oxford follows closely behind Cambridge, with over 34,000 S&T articles per capita, with 15% of the top publishing organisations having articles within the physics and math domains.
• The University of Oxford is both the top PCT applicant and publishing organisation within the Oxford cluster, with 373 patents between 2018-2022 and 14,335 S&T articles published between 2017-2021.

Notes to editors:

Further information about the GII science and technology Clusters can be found here:

The 2023 Global Innovation Index will be published on 27 September. More information about the launch can be found here:

About the World Intellectual Property Organisation

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. It is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states. Its mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Its mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.

About the University of Oxford

Oxford University has been placed number 1 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the seventh year running. At the heart of this success are the twin-pillars of our ground-breaking research and innovation and our distinctive educational offer.

Oxford is world-famous for research and teaching excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research alongside our personalised approach to teaching sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions.

Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 300 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the last five years. The university is a catalyst for prosperity in Oxfordshire and the United Kingdom, contributing £15.7 billion to the UK economy in 2018/19, and supports more than 28,000 full time jobs.


For more information, or to speak to Soumitra Dutta, contact Jonny Stone at or call 01582790704.

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