The most innovative square kilometers in Europe

A spatial analysis of where patents come from, which combines different datasets and sheds light on both hyper-local and continental phenomena, by Topi Tjukanov.

Mini maker fair in Espoo, Finland (photo: Hannu Makarainen/Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0 )

What this work is about

Topi Tjukanov came across a huge dataset including 18.8 millions geocoded patents, and turned them into a map of innovation in Europe. By combining those data with Europe’s population grid, he managed to identify the most innovative square kilometer for each country – namely the square kilometer where the ratio of patents per capita is the highest. The result is a fascinating journey across Europe, moving from the suburbs of a capital city to a university hub, or even unexpected little towns.

Why we like it

The analysis by Tjukanov is exemplary in many respects. The connection between the European and a hyper-local level is fascinating and provides a number of hints for possible stories. The author is very transparent when it comes to the technical side of his analysis, making it easier to verify the findings and possibly replicate a work of this kind. Preliminary findings were discussed on Twitter and constructive feedback was clearly taken into account.