Top ten most innovative cities in the UK

University city of Cambridge files more patents per head than anywhere else

(Image credit: SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Cambridge is the most innovative city in the UK, according to a new report analysing the number of patents filed across the country.

Cities Outlook 2017 found that Cambridge – famed for its prestigious university – filed 341.1 patents for every 100,000 residents, the highest rate of all the UK cities and towns.

The next highest is Coventry at 118.4, almost three-times fewer than the figure for Cambridge. Oxford, Derby and Swindon have also made the top five.

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Around 12,000 patent applications were published in the UK in 2015, with the highest number (2,105) in London. However, the capital's large population means that it didn't make the top ten list, with 21 applications published per 100,000 residents.

The report notes that seven of the top ten cities with the highest number of published patent applications are located in the south of England, with the exception of Coventry, Derby and Aberdeen.

The report also includes a corresponding list of ten towns and cities with the lowest number of patent applications published. Wigan, Lancashire, is at the bottom, with 4.8 patents filed per 100,000 people. Others include Birmingham, Luton and Southend.

The report, from the Centre for Cities study group, also examines trade performance, employment figures and other economic and social trends for cities across the country.

This year the group says the European Union is "by far the biggest destination for exports from British cities", accounting for 46 per cent of Britain's urban exports. It adds that in 37 of Britain's cities, more than half of exports are heading to the EU. "The EU was the largest export market for every city in Britain," it says, "with the exception of Hull."

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