Swiss universities are regarded as being particularly innovative in Europe. This is demonstrated in the latest “Europe’s Most Innovative Universities Rankings” published by Thomson Reuters. Four Swiss universities have made it into the top 25, namely the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in fifth place, the University of Zurich (UZH) in ninth place, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) in tenth place and the University of Basel in nineteenth place. The University of Geneva is also represented amongst the top 100.
One of the criteria for entry in the ranking list is the number of patents filed and approved. According to the information provided, EPFL filed 235 patents in total between 2012 and 2017, 39.6 percent of which were granted. The University of Zurich submitted 167 patents, 34.1 percent of which were approved. Of the patents filed by ETH Zurich, 29.5 percent were granted. The University of Basel submitted 69 patents, 30.4 percent of which were approved. In addition to the number of patents, the rankings also take into account how often these patents and other scientific publications were cited in research publications in industry journals or other patents.
This year’s ranking is a particular success for UZH. It managed to climb four places. “I am very pleased with the success of the University of Zurich,” said Michael Schaepman, UZH Vice President for Research, commenting on the ranking result. He believed the reason for the good performance was the targeted support UZH provides for innovation. For example, the newly created Innovation Hub brings together all of UZH’s innovation activities and has already seen some successful results. “Investments in Entrepreneur Fellowships and participation in the Zurich Innovation Park have proven particularly fruitful”. “
This year Belgium’s KU Leuven tops the rankings, followed by Germany’s University of Erlangen Nurembergand Imperial College London. German universities account for more entrants than any other country, with 23 institutions in the top 100. The United Kingdom has 21 schools, France has 18 universities, followed by the Netherlands with nine. Switzerland is in fifth place with the five represented universities and shares this ranking with Spain.
Every year Reuters presents the latest version of its European University rankings. For this year’s rankings 180 universities were considered.