Not one UK company has made it onto a list of the 100 most innovative businesses published this week by analysts at Thomson Reuters IP & Science.

European countries such as France and Germany had seven and four organisations on the list respectively, while Asia overtook North America for the first time, with 46 firms featuring compared to 36.

Of Asia’s 46 entrants, 39 are based in Japan, four in South Korea, two in Taiwan and, for the first time, a Chinese company (Huawei) has made the list.

The US accounted for 35 of North America’s total, while Canada had one (BlackBerry). 

Eighteen European companies featured on the list in total.

The UK’s poor performance could be a result of the fact that it spends less on R&D as a proportion of GDP compared to European rivals.

Indeed, the UK is only spending 1.7 percent of GDP on R&D, whereas Sweden spends 3.4 percent, the Netherlands spends 2.2 percent and China spends two percent.

“The UK’s economy continues to perform strongly but long-term economic performance and employment is driven by innovation. Countries like China are investing more and more in this field and UK companies need to do the same to be competitive in the long term” Basil Moftah, president at Thomson Reuters IP & Science, told The London Economic.

“This list of 100 companies represents the absolute vanguard of innovation – the organisations that are driving new breakthroughs, creating new jobs and igniting the global economy; we are honoured to recognise their efforts.”

The Thomson Reuters 2014 Top 100 Global Innovator methodology is based on four criteria: overall patent volume, patent grant success rate, global reach of the portfolio and patent influence as evidenced by citations.

The report comes less than two weeks after a separate study by Boston Consulting Group found Unilever to be the only UK company worthy on its list of the top 50 most innovative companies in the world.