Swiss universities are amongst the most innovative in Europe

Thomson Reuters has published its annual report on Europe's Most Innovative Universities. Switzerland has four in the top 25.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) is in fifth place. Image credit: EPFL
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) is in fifth place. Image credit: EPFL

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.

Patents are a testament to innovation

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.

Switzerland can compete with the large countries

This year Belgium’s KU Leuven tops the rankings, followed by Germany’s University of Erlangen Nuremberg and 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 sixth 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.

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