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Innovation Heat Map

Mark Marich

Analysts at McKinsey and Co. have recently created a very cool look at the world of innovation. Their innovation "heat map," developed in conjunction with the World Economic Forum, maps the world's leading industrial clusters according to key factors such as size, diversity, and growth. The map operates as a quadrant based on four categories:

  • Hot Springs: A small and fast growing hub that is emerging as a world player.
  • Dynamic Oceans: Large and vibrant ecosystems with a continuous creation and destruction of new businesses.
  • Silent Lakes: Slow-growing innovation ecosystems anchored by a few large companies operating in a narrow band of sectors.
  • Shrinking Pools: Innovation hubs that fail to develop and thus move down the value chain, where industries are less innovation-driven and more commoditized.

The article also lays out three paths to building successful clusters. The authors contend that all clusters emerge via one of three paths: "heroic bets" rely on massive government intervention in support of key sectors; "irresistible deals" rely on regions attracting companies who want to capitalize on a critical local advantage (such as low cost labor); and "knowledge oases" emerge in those rare regions with a critical mass of highly skilled talent (e.g. a major research lab or university).

Article: "Building an Innovation Nation," by Andre Andonian, Christoph Loos, and Luiz Pires

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