The 100 most innovative universities in Europe 2016

Germany and the UK well represented on Reuters’ inaugural Europe innovation ranking

June 14, 2016
Lightbulbs innovation
Source: iStock

Belgian university KU Leuven has topped the inaugural Reuters Top 100: Europe’s Most Innovative Universities ranking, with Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge completing the top three. 

The innovation league table aims to identify which institutions contribute the most to science and technology, and have the greatest impact on the global economy. Its methodology, available on the Reuters site, uses proprietary data and analysis tools from the Intellectual Property and Science division of Thomson Reuters to examine a series of patent and research-related metrics.

It follows on from last year's list of the most innovative universities in the world – a topic that Times Higher Education has also investigated in some depth.

Read next: Reuter's 75 most innovative universities in Asia 2016

According to the latest results, the most innovative university in Europe is KU Leuven, a Dutch-speaking school based in Belgium’s Flanders region, that maintains one of the largest independent research and development organisations on the planet. Its researchers submit more patents than almost any other university in Europe. 

Universities in Western Europe claim 60 universities of the top 100, with Northern Europe second with 24, Southern Europe boasting 15 and Eastern Europe just one – Poland’s Jagiellonian University, ranked 92.

German universities account for 24 of the 100 most innovative universities in Europe, more than any other country, while the United Kingdom came second with 17 institutions.

The Reuters top 100 most innovative universities in Europe 2016

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

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Reader's comments (2)

If Dundee is in 'Scotland', why is St. Andrews in the 'United Kingdom'?
Just hedging our bets ahead of a potential second independence referendum. :-) Thanks for highlighting this - now corrected.

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