The study by Thompson-Reuters looked at the the ‘100 most innovative organisations and enterprises' in the world.
And with 10 French companies making the list, France was the best represented country in Europe and was only outdone by Japan and the United States, which dominated the rankings with 40 and 35 companies included respectively.
The French companies singled out by the study for their innovation were Alcatel-Lucent, Alstom, Arkema, Safran, Saint-Gobain, Thales, Baleo and the organizations CEA, CNRS and IFP.
The study calculated the number of patents filed in each country, the rate of accepted patents compared to those which are registered, the geographical range of the patents and their influence.
“The amount of patents isn’t everything,” explains Dominique Ducay, Direcor of Strategy and Intellectual Property at Thompson-Reuters. “In the study we are very interested in the quality of these patents, as well as their influence.”
Ducay said that the industries which were developing most rapidly were the automobile, pharmaceutical and chemical industries,
In order to take part in the annual study, now in its fifth year, businesses must have developed “at least 100 inventions over the past five years,” says Ducay.
Germany and South Korea took fourth and fifth place in the study with, respectively, four and five companies listed. Perhaps unexpectedly, neither the UK nor China feature in the top 100.
Ducay points out that in the UK, investment in research and development is not given the same priority as in the countries higher up the list. It represents just 1.63 percent of GDP compared to 3.47 percent in Japan, 2.73 percent in the United States and 2.23 percent in France, according to the study.
In October, Paris was rated as the sixth best European city for startups and for scale-ups, according to the European Digital City Index for 2015, which ranked the French capital ahead of Berlin.