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The 100 most innovative universities in Europe 2017

KU Leuven tops Reuters’ 2017 ranking of the strongest institutions for advancing science and inventing new technologies

  • Rankings
Ellie Bothwell's avatar

Ellie Bothwell

Reporter and rankings editor
May 5 2017
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Compare these rankings with the THE World University Rankings 2016-17

University of Cambridge have topped a new ranking of Europe’s most innovative universities.

The Belgian institution again takes pole position in Reuters’ second annual ranking of Europe’s Most Innovative Universities in part due to producing a high volume of influential inventions.

But Germany is the most-represented nation in the list, taking 23 of the top 100 places. It is led by the Technical University of Munich in fourth place.

The UK and France are joint second when it comes to quantity of innovative institutions, each claiming 17 places in the table.

The ranking methodology draws on several indicators including patent filings and research paper citations. It aims to identify institutions that are doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and help drive the global economy.

But when the results are adjusted to take into account a country’s population and GDP per capita other smaller countries with more modest economies seem most impressive.

With three institutions in the list and a population of less than 5 million people, the Republic of Ireland boasts more top 100 innovative universities per head than any other country in Europe.

Overall Technical University of Berlin both made the most gains in the table since last year, jumping 21 spots to 17th and 41st respectively.

Universite Libre of Brussels and the University of Leeds both dropped 17 places, making them the biggest fallers.

Reuters’ top 100 most innovative universities in Europe 2017

Click each institution to view its World University Rankings 2016-2017 results

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

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