Reuters Top 100: Europe’s Most Innovative Universities 2019 announced

- German universities account for more participants than any other country, closely followed by UK-based universities and France

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Despite political unease across the continent, the top ranks of Europe’s most innovative universities remain remarkably steady, according to fourth annual Reuters Top 100: Europe’s Most Innovative Universities ranking.

All 100 of the institutions included in Reuters Top 100 produce original research, create useful technology and stimulate the global economy, but for the fourth consecutive year, KU Leuven tops the list.

The Dutch-speaking school based in Belgium’s Flanders region is 594 years old and boasts a tradition of influential innovation. Patents filed by KU scientists are frequently cited by other researchers in their own patent filings. That’s one of the key criteria in Reuters’ rankings, which were compiled in partnership with Clarivate Analytics. The Reuters Top 100 is based on proprietary analysis of numerous indicators including patent filings and research paper citations.

To compile its ranking of Europe’s most innovative universities, Clarivate Analytics identified more than 600 global organisations that publish the most academic research. Then they evaluated each candidate on 10 different metrics, focusing in particular on patent filings and research paper citations, and ranked universities within the region based on their performance.

Only one university in the top 100 is entirely new to the list this year: The Norwegian University of Science & Technology, or NTSU (No. 56).

Germany’s University of Erlangen Nuremberg (No. 2) climbs three spots to the runner-up position, bumping Imperial College London (No. 3), the University of Cambridge (No. 4), and Switzerland’s EPFL (No. 5) each down one rung on the ladder. The UK’s University College

London (No. 6, up five) is one of two new entrants to the top 10, along with the University of Zurich (No. 9, up four). The Technical University of Munich (No. 7, down one), University of Manchester (No. 8, down one) and ETH Zurich (No. 10, no change) complete the top 10.

German universities account for more entrants than any other country, with 23 institutions in the top 100, the same as last year; the United Kingdom has 21 schools, also no change; France is third with 18 universities, followed by the Netherlands with nine, Belgium with seven, Spain and Switzerland each with five, Italy with four, Denmark with three, Norway with two, and Austria and Ireland with one.

Amid the uncertainty caused by a still-pending Brexit, British institutions show a general performance decline among the Top 100, whilst the positions of German and Dutch universities on the list are, on average rising. While Reuters’ ranking includes some historical data that predates the 2016 European Union referendum, experts suggest these trends could reflect the first wave of researchers leaving the UK in favor of more stable institutions on the continent.

For more on the Reuters Top 100: Europe’s Most Innovative Universities, including a detailed methodology and profiles of the universities, visit:


The Reuters Top 100: The Most Innovative European Universities 2019

1 KU Leuven Belgium

2 University of Erlangen Nuremberg Germany

3 Imperial College London United Kingdom

4 University of Cambridge United Kingdom

5 EPFL - Swiss Federal lnstitute of Technology Lausanne Switzerland

6 University College London United Kingdom

7 Technical University of Munich Germany

8 University of Manchester United Kingdom

9 University of Zurich Switzerland

10 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland

11 Ruprecht Karl University Heidelberg Germany

12 University of Oxford United Kingdom

13 Technical University of Denmark Denmark

14 Leiden University Netherlands

15 University of Paris Sud - Paris 11 France

16 Delft University of Technology Netherlands

17 University of Montpellier France

18 University of Paris Descartes France

19 University of Basel Switzerland

20 University of Munich Germany

21 Kings College London United Kingdom

22 Sorbonne University France

23 Free University of Berlin Germany

24 University of Bordeaux France

25 Utrecht University Netherlands

26 Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz Germany

27 RWTH Aachen University Germany

28 Charité Medical University of Berlin Germany

29 Eindhoven University of Technology Netherlands

30 University of Freiburg Germany

31 Dresden University of Technology Germany

32 Humboldt University of Berlin Germany

33 Grenoble Alpes University France

34 Technical University of Berlin Germany

35 University of Copenhagen Denmark

36 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands

37 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom

38 Saarland University Germany

39 University of Lille France

40 Free University of Brussels Belgium

41 University of Claude Bernard - Lyon 1 France

42 University of Dundee United Kingdom

43 Catholic University of Louvain Belgium

44 University of Glasgow United Kingdom

45 Eberhard Karls University of Tubingen Germany

46 University of Birmingham United Kingdom

47 Goethe University Frankfurt Germany

48 Ghent University Belgium

49 Queen Mary University London United Kingdom

50 University of Aix-Marseille France

51 University of Oslo Norway

52 University of Munster Germany

53 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany

54 University of Groningen Netherlands

55 Ecole Polytechnique France

56 Norwegian University of Science & Technology Norway

57 University of Stuttgart Germany

58 University of Amsterdam Netherlands

59 Vrije University of Brussels Belgium

60 University of Strasbourg France

61 University of Paris Diderot France

62 Grenoble Institute of Technology France

63 University of Leeds United Kingdom

64 University of Geneva Switzerland

65 University of Wurzburg Germany

66 University of Nantes France

67 University of Southampton United Kingdom

68 Polytechnic University of Milan Italy

69 Hannover Medical School Germany

70 Trinity College Dublin Ireland

71 University of Bristol United Kingdom

72 University of Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III France

73 Cardiff University United Kingdom

74 Vienna University of Technology Austria

75 University of Barcelona Spain

76 University of Leicester United Kingdom

77 University of Milan Italy

78 Aarhus University Denmark

79 University of Lorraine France

80 Newcastle University United Kingdom

81 Polytechnic University of Catalonia Spain

82 University of St Andrews United Kingdom

83 University of Bonn Germany

84 University of Rennes 1 France

85 University of Sheffield United Kingdom

86 Friedrich Schiller University of Jena Germany

87 University of Nottingham United Kingdom

88 University of Twente Netherlands

89 Maastricht University Netherlands

90 Jagiellonian University Poland

91 University of Liege Belgium

92 University of Valencia Spain

93 University of Antwerp Belgium

94 University of Padua Italy

95 Polytechnical University of Valencia Spain

96 University of Nice Sophia Antipolis France

97 Darmstadt University of Technology Germany

98 Sapienza University Rome Italy

99 University of Surrey United Kingdom

100 Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain

Notes to Editors

To compile the ranking of Europe’s most innovative universities, Clarivate Analytics identified Europe-based institutions that each produced a substantial body of research, as determined by the number of papers indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection between 2012 and 2017.

The next step was to ascertain the extent to which this output was successfully turned to patents by consulting two additional Clarivate resources: Derwent World Patents Index and Derwent Innovations Index. Analysts also consulted “Patent Citations,” gauging the rate at which a university’s patents are cited by other patents. These measures provide an indicator of influence in ongoing research and development. Along with the assessment of citations in other patents, the analysis included gauging how frequently an average journal article from an institution is cited by patents. This metric provides a clear link between a university’s basic research and its influence in applied technology. In further

scrutiny of the universities’ published papers, analysts tallied reports that listed at least one author from a commercial or industrial as an indicator of immediate ties to the marketplace.


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Clarivate Analytics is a global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation. Building on a heritage going back more than a century and a half, we have built some of the most trusted brands across the innovation lifecycle, including Web of Science, Cortellis, Derwent, CompuMark, MarkMonitor and Techstreet. Today, Clarivate Analytics is a new and independent company on a bold entrepreneurial mission to help our clients radically reduce the time from new ideas to life-changing innovations. For more information, please visit

Web of Science is the largest publisher-neutral citation index, powering global discovery and citation analytics across the sciences, social sciences and art & humanities. With more than 1.4 billion cited references going back to 1900 and millions of users per day—from top government and academic institutions and research-intensive corporations—the Web of Science citation network serves as the foundation for the Journal Impact Factor, InCites, and other powerful and trusted citation-impact metrics. Clarivate Analytics attaches special significance to the quality of data indexed in the Web of Science.

Derwent Innovation, the flagship patent research platform from Clarivate Analytics, provides access to trusted global patent data and scientific literature with powerful capabilities to perform analysis and collaborate efficiently. Powered by the Derwent World Patents Index, Derwent Innovation provides users with a comprehensive patent solution offering editorially enhanced, authoritative and accurate patent data covering more than 40 patent-issuing authorities.

LONDON – 30 April 2019 – Despite political unease across the continent, the top ranks of Europe’s most innovative universities remain remarkably steady, according to fourth annual Reuters Top 100: Europe’s Most Innovative Universities ranking.

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