KU Leuven is Europe's most innovative university for the fourth year in a row

01 May 2019 | Network Updates | Update from KU Leuven
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

KU Leuven once again tops the Reuters ranking of Europe’s most innovative universities. The University of Erlangen Nuremberg and Imperial College London are second and third on the list.

How can potential partners, investors, faculty and students know if an institution is really transforming science and technology and affecting the global economy? To answer that question, Reuters set out to find and rank Europe’s top 100 innovative universities. The criteria focused on academic papers, which indicate basic research performed at a university; and patent filings, which point to an institution’s interest in protecting and commercializing its discoveries. The ranking only pertains to European universities. 

"At 594 years old, the Dutch-speaking school based in Belgium’s Flanders region certainly isn’t new but it’s hardly staid either, boasting a tradition of influential innovation," according to Reuters. "Patents filed by KU Leuven scientists are frequently cited by other researchers in their own patent filings."

“KU Leuven earned its first-place rank, in part, by producing a high volume of influential inventions,” said Reuters. One of the recent highlights at KU Leuven was the development of a panel that produces hydrogen gas from moisture in the air. After ten years of development, the panel can now produce 250 litres per day – a world record, according to the bioscience engineers from the KU Leuven Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis.

Rector Luc Sels is very proud of KU Leuven’s first place in the ranking. “This result confirms that our university is not just a place for intellectual debate, research-driven education, and ground-breaking fundamental research, but that we also contribute a great deal to innovation and valorisation. These achievements benefit the university, Flanders, and society as a whole. The first place of KU Leuven in this year’s Reuters ranking is a recognition of the wonderful work done by our researchers and by KU Leuven Research and Development.”

KU Leuven Research & Development (LRD), established in 1972, was one of the first tech transfer offices in Europe, and it has helped the university to spin off more than 124 companies across a range of industries.KU Leuven ranked seventh on Thomson Reuters’ 2018 list of the World’s Most Innovative Universities, the highest ranking of any university outside the United States.

Reuters top 10: Europe's most innovative universities

  1. KU Leuven  

  2. University of Erlangen Nuremberg

  3. Imperial College London 

  4. University of Cambridge

  5. EPFL - Swiss Federal lnstitute of Technology Lausanne

  6. University College London

  7. Technical University of Munich

  8. University of Manchester

  9.  University of Zurich

  10. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich


This release was first published 30 April 2019 by KU Leuven.

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