U.S. Waning? Bloomberg's 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2010

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by: David Hunkar

The 50 Most Innovative Companies in the world for 2010 has been published by Bloomberg BusinessWeek in its latest issue. This year’s list is dominated by companies from Europe and Asia. Showing the rise of Asian emerging markets, for the first time 15 of the Top 50 are Asian and Greater China has as many companies in the list as Japan. The majority of the Top 50 are based outside of the U.S.

From the report:

“If Asia ever did figure out how to design cutting-edge products comparable to those dreamed up in the West, however, the one-two punch of high-value research and development and low-cost manufacturing would make it almost unbeatable in the battle for global economic supremacy.

The battle is on. In the 2010 Bloomberg BusinessWeek annual rankings of Most Innovative Companies, 15 of the Top 50 are Asian—up from just five in 2006. In fact, for the first time since the rankings began in 2005, the majority of corporations in the Top 25 are based outside the U.S. Asia’s newfound confidence is turning up everywhere you look, from wind turbines to high-speed bullet trains, just two of the technologies China is trying to export to the U.S. “We are the most advanced in many fields,” Zheng Jian, director of high-speed rail at China’s railway ministry, told The New York Times in April. “And we are willing to share with the U.S.” The U.S., of course, still has its innovators. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) remains No. 1, followed by perennial first runner-up Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). But just ahead of General Electric (NYSE:GE) in seventh and eighth places are newcomers LG Electronics of South Korea and BYD, with Korea’s Hyundai Motor claiming a spot at 22.

The extended Top 50 list is dominated by companies from Europe, Asia, and, in another first, South America (Petrobrás (NYSE:PBR) of Brazil at No. 41). China’s rise is biggest. A year ago its only representative was PC-maker Lenovo Group (OTCPK:LNVGY), at 46. This year Greater China is tied with Asia’s postwar powerhouse, Japan, thanks to showings by BYD, Haier Electronics (27), Lenovo (29), China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) (44), and Taiwan-based HTC (47). The age of Asian innovation has begun.” (emphasis added)

The Top 25 Most Innovative Companies in the World:

  1. Apple (AAPL)
  2. Google (GOOG)
  3. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  4. IBM
  5. Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM)
  6. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  7. LG Electronics (OTC:LGERF)
  8. BYD (OTCPK:BYDDY)
  9. General Electric (GE)
  10. Sony (NYSE:SNE)
  11. Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF)
  12. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)
  13. Ford Motor (NYSE:F)
  14. Research In Motion (RIMM)
  15. Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY)
  16. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ)
  17. Tata Group
  18. BMW (BAXMY.PK)
  19. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)
  20. Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY)
  21. Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)
  22. Hyundai Motor (OTC:HYMLF)
  23. Nokia (NYSE:NOK)
  24. Virgin Group
  25. Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)

The complete list can be found here.

Is America losing its edge in research and innovation? Only time will tell.