Swiss universities among the most innovative in Europe

Thomson Reuters has published its annual ranking of innovative European universities. Four Swiss universities made it to the Top 25. Only UK and Germany perform better. The ranking is based on ten different indicators including metrics for commercial impact.

One important reason that Switzerland is regarded as the most innovative country in the world is the strength of the Swiss universities. A new ranking by Thomson Reuters illustrates this strength in an impressive way. Reuters tried to identify the European universities “doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies, and help drive the global economy”. The best Swiss university is EPFL which is number five in the ranking. EPFL has clearly the highest score for the indicator “commercial impact”.

In total, four Swiss institutes made it to the Top 25: EPFL (No. 5), University of Zurich (No. 9), ETH Zurich (No. 11) and University of Basel (No. 25). Only UK – 6 universities among the Top 25 – and Germany – 5 universities among the Top 25 – perform better.

The ranking started with identifying those institutions that filed 50 or more patents in the period between 2010 and 2015. Each candidate university was then evaluated using various indicators including how often a university’s patent applications were granted, how many patents were filed with global patent offices and local authorities and how often the university's patents were cited by others. Universities were also evaluated in terms of how often their research papers were cited by patents and the percentage of articles that featured a co-author from industry.

Picture: Alain Herzog, EPFL