The Strategist

Top 5 most innovative universities in Europe


06/15/2016 - 17:21



At first glance, the most innovative universities in Europe have little in common. Some of them are Catholic, some are secular state organizations; private institutions are also included in the list.



Université catholique de Louvain, photo by Jonathan Nélis
Université catholique de Louvain, photo by Jonathan Nélis
However, there is one common feature: they all emphasize importance of empirical research and applied science against purely academic science.

List of the top 100 most innovative universities in Europe, comprised by Reuters, is dominated by technical universities. The rating features educational institutions that make huge contributions to development of science, invention of new technologies and, ultimately, to the world economy.

Thomson Reuters’ division "Intellectual Property and Science" have developed key criteria for evaluating universities.

The analysts started with analyzing more than 600 global organizations, including educational institutions and non-profit organizations that publish the most research.

Then, they evaluated each institution by 10 parameters, focusing on number of scientific publications and patents. As a result, the number of institutions was cut, and now the list includes only European universities. Eventually, they have made a rating based on an evaluation of their activities.

The top 100 most innovative universities include 24 German; this figure is the biggest among all countries. The list also takes in 17 universities from the UK, including the oldest - Cambridge and Oxford.

In general, the vast majority of universities are Western European (60 out of 100).

Northern Europe is in second place (24 institutions). 15 are from Southern Europe, and only one from Poland represents the east.

In addition, only five universities in the list are located outside the European Union (four in Switzerland, one in Norway).

1. Université catholique de Louvain

Country: Belgium

Total number of patent applications (2008 -2013 years): 301

% of patents granted: 25.4%

Université catholique de Louvain is a Dutch branch of the old Université catholique de Louvain. The date of foundation is considered 1425.

2. Imperial College London

Country: United Kingdom

Total number of patent applications (2008 -2013 years): 279

% of patents granted: 25.4%

Imperial College London is a higher education institution in South Kensington, specializing in science, engineering, medicine and business.

From 1907 to 2007, Imperial College was a member of the University of London. Detachment of the College into an independent institution was dedicated to the centenary of its foundation, and took place on July 8, 2007.

Imperial College is part of the Golden Triangle, which is a group of the most elite British universities; also includes Oxford and Cambridge universities. 

3. University of Cambridge

Country: United Kingdom

Total number of patent applications (2008 -2013 years): 221

% of patents granted: 30.3%

The University grew out of a meeting of educated people in the city of Cambridge. According to the chronicles, the institution was formed in 1209. 

Administratively, Cambridge University is a confederation of colleges (31 in all).

Each college has its own property, library, hostel for students, (Protestant) church with a mandatory choir and organ, and so on.

4. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Country: Switzerland

Total number of patent applications (2008 -2013 years): 181

% of patents granted: 38.7% 

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne was founded in 1853 under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne, and was incorporated as a Technical Faculty to State Academy in 1869.

It has the status of Technical University since 1969, and is considered one of the most prestigious educational institutions in Europe. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is often likened to Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.

5. Technical University of Munich

Country: Germany

Total number of patent applications (2008 -2013 years): 153

% of patents granted: 34.6%

Munich Technical University, founded in 1868, is located in Munich. It is the only technical university in Bavaria, and one of the largest higher education institutions in Germany.

The University is part of 9 TU, the union of technical universities in Germany, and is one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

source: reuters.com




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