Clarivate Analytics Data Powers the Annual Reuters Top 100 Europe’s Most Innovative Universities Ranking

UK-based universities drop a cumulative 35 spots as German and Swiss universities make gains.


LONDON, April 25, 2018 –Today Reuters released its third annual ranking of Europe’s Most Innovative Universities in partnership with Clarivate Analytics. The list is based on empirical data including patent filings from Derwent Innovation and research paper citations from the Web of Science. The list identifies and ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies, and help drive the global economy.

The most innovative university in Europe, for the third year running, is Belgium’s KU Leuven. A Dutch-speaking school based in Belgium’s Flanders region, KU Leuven was founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V and continually produces a high volume of influential inventions. Overall, the most elite ranks of Europe’s Most Innovative Universities held steady from last year. The UK’s Imperial College London and University of Cambridge hold onto their respective second and third spots for the third straight year.

Other leading institutions simply traded a few spaces, like the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (up one at four), University of Erlangen Nuremberg (up one at five), and the Technical University of Munich (down two at six).

The overall trend is most clear in the sum of changes in rank for each country’s institutions: the 23 German universities on this year’s list rose 23 spots, more than any other country. Switzerland was second, with five universities up a total of eight spots.

In contrast, the list’s 21 UK-based universities dropped a cumulative 35 spots. The introduction to the ranking concludes that while the United Kingdom’s “Brexit” from the European Union is almost a year away, Europe’s scientific community may already be leaving the UK in favour of research institutions on the continent. A February 2018 study published by the UK-based Centre for Global Higher Education reports that many German academics view Brexit as an “advantage,” and hope to use it to attract UK researchers to German universities. In turn, UK academics report that their own postdoctoral researchers aren’t seeking positions in the UK and are looking at the EU or United States instead.

According to Reuters , as Brexit unfolds the situation could get worse: A November 2017 study performed by the School of International Futures for the UK’s Royal Society describes a possible post-secession United Kingdom where universities compete for a shrinking pool of skilled workers, projects that used to receive EU funding wither, researchers receive fewer invites to join consortia and attend conferences, and overseas collaboration is limited. Similarly, EU-based businesses that fund research at universities may prefer to keep their investments within the region in order to avoid the tax and regulatory headaches of working with post-Brexit UK institutions.

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

Rank Institution Country
1 KU Leuven Belgium
2 Imperial College London United Kingdom
3 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
4 Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne Switzerland
5 University of Erlangen Nuremberg Germany
6 Technical University of Munich Germany
7 University of Manchester United Kingdom
8 University of Munich Germany
9 Technical University of Denmark Denmark
10 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland
11 University College London United Kingdom
12 Delft University of Technology Netherlands
13 University of Zurich Switzerland
14 University of Oxford United Kingdom
15 University of Basel Switzerland
16 University of Montpellier France
17 Leiden University Netherlands
18 Pierre & Marie Curie University – Paris 6 France
19 University of Paris Descartes – Paris 5 France
20 Ruprecht Karl University Heidelberg Germany
21 Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz Germany
22 Free University of Berlin Germany
23 Eindhoven University of Technology Netherlands
24 University of Freiburg Germany
25 University of Paris Sud – Paris 11 France
26 Charité Medical University of Berlin Germany
27 Humboldt University of Berlin Germany
28 Grenoble Alpes University France
29 Dresden University of Technology Germany
30 University of Bordeaux France
31 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Germany
32 University of Oslo Norway
33 Ghent University Belgium
34 University of Birmingham United Kingdom
35 University of Claude Bernard – Lyon 1 France
36 University of Glasgow United Kingdom
37 Queen Mary University London United Kingdom
38 King’s College London United Kingdom
39 Technical University of Berlin Germany
40 RWTH Aachen University Germany
41 University of Strasbourg France
42 Free University of Brussels Belgium
43 University of Copenhagen Denmark
44 Polytechnic University of Milan Italy
45 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom
46 Grenoble Institute of Technology France
47 Vrije University of Brussels Belgium
48 Utrecht University Netherlands
49 Ecole Polytechnique France
50 Goethe University Frankfurt Germany
51 University of Paris Diderot – Paris 7 France
52 University of Munster Germany
53 Cardiff University United Kingdom
54 Catholic University of Louvain Belgium
55 Hannover Medical School Germany
56 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands
57 University of Amsterdam Netherlands
58 University of Dundee United Kingdom
59 University of Aix-Marseille France
60 University of Leicester United Kingdom
61 Saarland University Germany
62 University of Sheffield United Kingdom
63 Eberhard Karls University of Tubingen Germany
64 Vienna University of Technology Austria
65 Trinity College Dublin Ireland
66 University of Milan Italy
67 University of Paul Sabatier – Toulouse III France
68 University of Leeds United Kingdom
69 University of Barcelona Spain
70 University of Southampton United Kingdom
71 University of Stuttgart Germany
72 University of Wurzburg Germany
73 University of Lorraine France
74 University of Geneva Switzerland
75 University of Twente Netherlands
76 University of Lille France
77 Newcastle University United Kingdom
78 University of Groningen Netherlands
79 University of Nantes France
80 University of Nottingham United Kingdom
81 Sapienza University Rome Italy
82 University of Rennes 1 France
83 University of St Andrews United Kingdom
84 Aarhus University Denmark
85 University of Surrey United Kingdom
86 University of Liege Belgium
87 Polytechnic University of Catalonia Spain
88 Friedrich Schiller University of Jena Germany
89 University College Cork Ireland
90 Jagiellonian University Poland
91 Aalto University Finland
92 University of Bonn Germany
93 Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain
94 Maastricht University Netherlands
95 Darmstadt University of Technology Germany
96 University of Antwerp Belgium
97 University of Nice Sophia Antipolis France
98 University of Warwick United Kingdom
99 Polytechnical University of Valencia Spain
100 University of Valencia Spain



Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world’s media organizations and directly to consumers at and via Reuters TV. Follow news about Reuters at @ReutersPR.

Clarivate Analytics is the leading global data provider and the number one choice for many prestigious ranking organizations. With our highly curated datasets, we provide the most trusted and unique data to make these rankings possible.

Our information and research analytics tools are relied upon by more than 20 million users and have been selected by the world’s most influential ranking organizations such as the Academic Ranking of the World Universities (also known as Shanghai Rankings), CWTS Leiden Ranking, U.S. News Global University Rankings, U-Multirank European Ranking, University Ranking by Academic Performance – URAP (Turkey), I-UGR Rankings (Spain), National Taiwan University Rankings, among many others.

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 the most 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 the most comprehensive patent solution offering editorially enhanced, authoritative and accurate patent data covering more than 50 patent issuing authorities. ​

About Clarivate Analytics: Clarivate Analytics is the 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



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