Apple is the world's most innovative company, with Google a close second, according to BusinessWeek.

The magazine has released its list of the 25 most innovative companies, which features Apple, Google and Toyota in first, second and third place, respectively.

The list is based on companies who have developed the kind of corporate culture that values creative people despite economic concerns; it also praises companies that retain their independence when it comes to forming corporate strategy and who foster diversification in their business.

Innovation is key to success. Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently once again explained his company strategy once again will be to innovate its way through recession.

Speaking to BusinessWeek, Google CEO (and Apple board member) Eric Schmidt said the same thing. Strong companies understand this, and during a recession, they invest. And they get pummeled for it: `How could you do this? You're arrogant. The world is falling apart.'"

Results were compiled by the Boston Consulting Group from recommendations made by executives.