Intelligent Community Forum Publishes Rankings of Intelligent Communities by Innovation

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) has released a comprehensive ranking of Intelligent Communities grouped by Innovation, one of the factors defining Intelligent Communities in the ICF Method. The list is the latest publication in ICF’s By The Numbers series. It provides a useful guide to the relative strengths of communities in ICF’s network, and an inspiration for greater progress in coming years. Future By the Numbers rankings of Intelligent Communities will be released by ICF in the coming months.

The list ranks Intelligent Communities in our global data set using data on communities submitted from 2014 through 2018. This data is carefully weighted to balance the self-reported and third-party data of the Smart21 evaluation and the data from later stages of evaluation that is subject to onsite validation.

ICF assesses the ability of the community to generate innovation in business and government for economic but also social and cultural growth. Being the location for innovation technology businesses is not enough. ICF’s metrics cover:

  • Innovation programs available in the community, from hackathons and business incubators to entrepreneurship training and technology districts.
  • Online services provided by local government or public agencies that improve quality of life.
  • Degree of collaboration among businesses, government and institutions on an innovation agenda.
  • The scope, quality and results of projects aiming to develop a self-sustaining innovation ecosystem in the community.

“Innovation is the source of 80% of growth in the modern economy,” said ICF co-founder Robert Bell.  “We have become used to the idea of national innovation policies but ICF believes that the individual city, county or town needs to pursue innovation strategically and over the long term to get their share of that growth opportunity.

The Top 30 Intelligent Communities Ranked by Innovation:

  1. Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  2. Espoo, Finland
  3. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  5. Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  6. Chiayi City, Taiwan
  7. Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
  8. Taitung County, Taiwan
  9. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  10. Austin, Texas, USA
  11. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  12. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  13. Tainan City, Taiwan
  14. Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
  15. Taoyuan, Taiwan
  16. Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  17. Hsinchu City, Taiwan
  18. Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
  19. Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
  20. Sarnia-Lambton County, Ontario, Canada
  21. Stratford, Ontario, Canada
  22. Hsinchu County, Taiwan
  23. Rochester, New York, USA
  24. Grey County, Ontario, Canada
  25. Regional Municipality of York, Ontario, Canada
  26. Brabant Kempen Region, The Netherlands
  27. Issy-les-Moulineaux, France
  28. Columbus, Ohio, USA
  29. Riverside, California, USA
  30. Whanganui, New Zealand

ICF will be releasing its rankings on Knowledge Workforce on April 25 and Broadband on May 29. Data collection is concluded for Knowledge Workforce, but is ongoing for Broadband. Communities wishing to submit data for Broadband can contact ICF Director of Operations Matthew Owen at

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