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 32 countries and 80 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, Estonia, Italy and Ireland, 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 5 countries from the Asia Pacific region in the Top-20 (Singapore, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia), as well as Kenya (23rd) and Brazil (30th) 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. The Top-3 cities in the ranking are all from the United States: San Francisco, New York and Boston, while the 4th and 5th spots are held by Toronto (greatly overperforming in comparison to its Global Ecosystem Ranking) and Tel Aviv. The second half of the Top-10 is also dominated by American cities (Seattle 7th, San Diego 8th and Los Angeles 9th) while London features at 6th spot and Taipei at10th.


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.

COVID-19 Innovation