StartupBlink Blog

At StartupBlink, together with Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx) by UNAIDS and the Moscow Agency of Innovations, we have launched the Coronavirus Innovation Map including more than 1,000 projects created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this crisis-ridden environment, innovators have stepped up to help in the best way they know: solving problems. Organizations working in different areas have adapted solutions and forged alliances with the aim of defeating COVID-19 and its consequences.

Through modification of our proprietary algorithm, we ranked countries and cities by number and types of innovations, with extra points given for selected outstanding initiatives, identified as the Champions. The COVID-19 Innovation Report, showcases the rankings of the best performing 40 countries and 100 cities, as well as selected innovations for each of those countries.

Main Insights of the Report

At the country level, we see some similarities between the leaders of the COVID-19 Innovation rankings and our Global Ecosystem Rankings. The United States leads global COVID-19 innovation efforts, while Israel and Canada ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively (both beating their general rank by one spot).

In the Top-10, we see important successes from Belgium, Switzerland, Singapore, Italy, Spain, and Luxembourg where local entrepreneurs have undergone an impressive mobilization in the face of the pandemic. Outside of Europe and North America – which dominated the Top-10, we see 4 countries from the Asia Pacific region in the Top-20 (Singapore, China, Taiwan, South Korea), as well as Kenya (28th) and Brazil 31st) as the best placed African and Latin American countries, respectively.

There is an urgent need to invest in innovation ecosystems to carry them through this crisis – Pradeep Kakkatil (UNAIDS Director of Innovation)

On a  city level, cities such as New York, Milan, Brussels and Barcelona, have been overperforming despite being badly hit by the pandemic. Cities largely unscathed like Taipei and Singapore, also hold strong positions. 4 of the top 5 cities in the ranking are all from North America: San Francisco, New York, Boston and Toronto, while Moscow holds the 3rd position, with dozens of innovative solutions. Its “champion” solution is the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine which has proved its particularly high effectiveness and accessibility, it is rapidly gaining popularity across the globe and could save many lives also in the developing countries.


In our map and report, we can see that there has been an extraordinarily innovative response from Startups, Corporations, NGOs, Public Sector and other organizations around the world. And we believe that the cooperation and solutions developed during this pandemic, as well as the lessons learned, can be helpful in the fight against future global health crises. But the virus hasn’t been defeated yet, and as Pradeep Kakkatil (UNAIDS Director of Innovation) says about health systems, there is “an urgent need to invest in innovation ecosystems to carry them through this crisis”. StartupBlink is here to help.