Auckland has been named the fifth most innovative Asia Pacific city by business consultancy Solidiance, which has just released the results of a project surveying 16 major cities from Tokyo to Taipei.
"Bold, fast and successful" Singapore came first, followed closely by Sydney and Melbourne, then Hong Kong.
The ratings are based on six categories: human talent, knowledge creation, technology, society, government, and global integration.
Auckland – the only New Zealand city included – did well on the government front with minimal red tape and strong support, coming second behind Hong Kong, and third for both global competitiveness and and human talent behind Singapore and Sydney/Sydney and Melbourne respectively.
"Auckland ranks highly in several quality of life surveys, and this is reflected in the human talent the city attracts," the report said.
"Ease of doing business encourages foreigners to settle in Auckland and the city has also stepped up its education standards."
However, "traffic problems and a poor public transportation system are obstacles to its future growth. These factors are often cited by Auckland citizens as the strongest downside to living there".
Auckland was middle of the pack when it came to knowledge creation (R&D, IP), technology and society.
Damien Duhamel, Asia managing partner at Solidiance, said other indexes comparing innovation across countries was a crude measure.
"Comparing innovation amongst countries is a bit like comparing the punch power of a boxing heavyweight with that of a featherweight - the outcome is not very surprising. To be more accurate when measuring innovation, we ought to compare Shanghai and Mumbai, Hong Kong and bangkok, or Sydney and Singapore, not China versus new Zealand."
Along with the study, Solidiance put together a short film highlighting various innovative ecosystems in the region and interviews with C-level executives of major firms.http://vimeo.com/56740300