Top 100 most innovative universities in Europe 2018

The Library of KU Leuven / photo: Soti

The Library of KU Leuven / photo: Soti

For the third year running, KU Leuven is the most innovative university in Europe, according to the latest Reuters’ innovation ranking.

The Reuters Top 100: Europe’s Most Innovative Universities identifies the higher education institutions that excel on doing the most to advance in science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries.

Founded in 1425 and based in Belgium, KU Leuven distinguishes itself for its research paper citations and the high volume of influential inventions and patent filings. Following KU Leuven are the Imperial College London on the second place and the University of Cambridge on the third holding onto their top spots for the third straight year.


Top 20 most innovative universities in Europe

  1. KU Leuven  (Belgium)
  2. Imperial College London   (UK)
  3. University of Cambridge   (UK)
  4. Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne   (Switzerland)
  5. University of Erlangen Nuremberg   (Germany)
  6. Technical University of Munich   (Germany)
  7. University of Manchester   (UK)
  8. University of Munich   (Germany)
  9. Technical University of Denmark   (Denmark)
  10. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich   (Switzerland)
  11. University College London   (UK)
  12. Delft University of Technology   (Netherlands)
  13. University of Zurich   (Switzerland)
  14. University of Oxford   (UK)
  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)


This year, German universities lead the ranking winning 23 spots of the Top 100. The United Kingdom was second, with 21 spots on the list and France followed on third with 18 universities.

To compile the ranking, Clarivate Analytics identified more than 600 global organizations that published the most articles in academic journals. The list was reduced to institutions that filed at least 50 patents with the World Intellectual Property Organization in the period between 2011 and 2016. To then evaluated each institution on 10 different metrics, focusing on academic papers and patent filings. To see the full methodology, click here.