Reuters has released its annual top 100 innovative universities worldwide, which included 51 North American Universities, 26 European ones, and three Middle Eastern ones.

The Top 100

The top 10 universities on the list are: Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Pennsylvania, KU Leuven, KAIST, Washington University, Michigan System, Texas System and Vanderbilt.

The rankings are based on institutions’ work to advance science, power new industries and markets, and invent technologies. Reuters made a note for its rankings:

“Of course, the relative ranking of any university – or whether it appears on the list at all – does not provide a complete picture of whether its researchers are doing important, innovative work,” it wrote.

“Since the ranking measures innovation on an institutional level, it may overlook particularly innovative departments or programs: a university might rank low for overall innovation but still operate one of the world’s best theoretical physics departments, for instance. And it’s important to remember that whether a university ranks at the top or the bottom of the list, it’s still within the top 100 on the planet. All of these universities produce original research, create useful technology and stimulate the global economy.”

Comments From Some Universities

Ana Cauce, the president of Washington University, which received the top rank among public US institutions, said: “Our University is steeped in a spirit of innovation, and that culture permeates everything we do, from biomedical advances to public policy research. It’s gratifying to see the excellence of our faculty, students and staff, and the impact of innovation in and beyond our campuses, recognized in this way.”

Vikram Jandhyala, the executive director of CoMotion, UW’s innovation hub, shed light on a recent mindset shift at the university: “It’s not so much about holding on to the idea of the university and trying to make money, as opposed to, let’s find the best way to create impact,” he explained. “That might be a startup; it might be a license; or it might be just creating software which is open source. That’s the mindset we’ve created.”

Vanderbilt’s Academic Affairs Vice Chancellor, Susan Wente, commented on the university’s rank as number 10, saying: “Innovation, research and collaboration provide the lifeblood for discovery. However, none of that happens without fostering a curious, diverse and inclusive academic community that works across disciplines to solve some of our world’s greatest challenges. That’s what we aspire to every day at Vanderbilt, and today’s recognition shows we’re on the right track.”


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