The common way in which innovation is tracked, is to look at the number of patent requests originating in any one city or region. By registering a patent, you are essentially registering an idea that was unique to you and receiving acknowledgement from the government that no one can steal your work.

1. Cambridge
Recently published numbers cite 341 patents registered per 100,000 people. This number is more than double that of the second most innovative city in the UK. The birthplace of the reflecting telescope, IVF, and iris recognition (among many other significant inventions), Cambridge has a legacy of numerous impactful innovations.

2. Coventry
Academia in Coventry is heavily focused on engineering, manufacturing, and digital studies. Coventry University and Warwick University dominate the academic scene in Coventry, The result of this is 118 patents per 100,000 people filed yearly.  Local government in Coventry strives to support an environment of innovation with projects like the Coventry and Warwickshire Innovation Programme.

3. Oxford
80 patents are filed yearly per 100,000 residents in Oxford. Innovations in Oxford are of a slightly different bent than the other centers of UK innovation and invention. The type of patents that are primarily discussed in this article are for physical objects; Oxford is more famed for its writers, politicians, poets, and actors. These are people whose work produces results that cannot generally be patented, thus, Oxford falls lower on this list.

Being an innovative city carries many benefits. With creative and innovative ideas often comes attention on the national or global stage. From this flows tourism, interest from academic institutions, grant funding and increased interest in living in these areas to name a few. Cities benefit from innovation by capitalizing on these advantages to increase the overall quality of living for residents and creation of jobs.