September 28, 2016

Stanford, MIT and Harvard top the second annual Reuters Top 100 ranking of the most innovative universities

NEW YORK – Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University top the second annual Reuters Top 100 ranking of the world’s most innovative universities. The Reuters Top 100 ranking aims to identify the institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and help drive the global economy. Unlike other rankings that often rely entirely or in part on subjective surveys, the ranking uses proprietary data and analysis tools from the Intellectual Property & Science division of Thomson Reuters to examine a series of patent and research-related metrics, and get to the essence of what it means to be truly innovative.

In the fast-changing world of science and technology, if you're not innovating, you're falling behind. That’s one of the key findings of this year’s Reuters 100. The 2016 results show that big breakthroughs – even just one highly influential paper or patent – can drive a university way up the list, but when that discovery fades into the past, so does its ranking. Consistency is key, with truly innovative institutions putting out groundbreaking work year after year.

Stanford held fast to its first place ranking by consistently producing new patents and papers that influence researchers elsewhere in academia and in private industry. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (ranked #2) were behind some of the most important innovations of the past century, including the development of digital computers and the completion of the Human Genome Project. Harvard University (ranked #3), is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and has produced 47 Nobel laureates over the course of its 380-year history.

Some universities saw significant movement up the list, including, most notably, the University of Chicago, which jumped from #71 last year to #47 in 2016. Other list-climbers include the Netherlands' Delft University of Technology (#73 to #44) and South Korea's Sungkyunkwan University (#66 to #46).

The United States continues to dominate the list, with 46 universities in the top 100; Japan is once again the second best performing country, with nine universities. France and South Korea are tied in third, each with eight. Germany has seven ranked universities; the United Kingdom has five; Switzerland, Belgium and Israel have three; Denmark, China and Canada have two; and the Netherlands and Singapore each have one.

For more on the Reuters Top 100, including a detailed methodology and profiles of the universities, visit

The Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities

1          Stanford University

2          Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

3          Harvard University

4          University of Texas System

5          University of Washington System

6          KAIST

7          University of Michigan System

8          University of Pennsylvania

9          KU Leuven

10         Northwestern University

11         Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

12         Imperial College London

13         University of Wisconsin System

14         Duke University

15         University of California System

16         University of Tokyo

17         University of Southern California

18         Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

19         University of Cambridge

20         Vanderbilt University

21         Osaka University

22         University of Illinois System

23         Johns Hopkins University

24         Georgia Institute of Technology

25         Ohio State University

26         Cornell University

27         University of Oxford

28         California Institute of Technology

29         Kyoto University

30         Seoul National University

31         Tohoku University

32         Princeton University

33         Purdue University System

34         Tufts University

35         Oregon Health & Science University

36         University of North Carolina System

37         Indiana University System

38         Technical University of Munich

39         University of Pittsburgh

40         University of Utah

41         Boston University

42         Columbia University

43         Tokyo Institute of Technology

44         Delft University of Technology

45         University of Colorado System

46         Sungkyunkwan University

47         University of Chicago

48         Keio University

49         University of Erlangen Nuremberg

50         University of British Columbia

51         Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

52         University of Massachusetts System

53         Technical University of Denmark

54         Yale University

55         Yonsei University

56         Emory University

57         University of Toronto

58         University of Zurich

59         Technion Israel Institute of Technology

60         Pierre & Marie Curie University - Paris 6

61         University of Munich

62         State University System of Florida

63         University of Arizona and Board of Regents

64         National University of Singapore

65         University of Minnesota System

66         Tsinghua University

67         Baylor College of Medicine

68         Hanyang University

69         Gwangju Institute of Science & Technology

70         Peking University

71         University of London

72         Mount Sinai School of Medicine

73         Korea University

74         Ghent University

75         University of Copenhagen

76         University of Rochester

77         University of Claude Bernard - Lyon 1

78         University of Paris Sud - Paris XI

79         Kyushu University

80         State University of New York (SUNY) System

81         University System of Maryland

82         Dresden University of Technology

83         University of Montpellier

84         University of Alabama System

84         Case Western Reserve University

86         University of Freiburg

87         University of Manchester

88         University of Paris Descartes – Paris V

89         Tel Aviv University

90         Nagoya University

91         Rutgers State University

92         Free University of Berlin

93         Grenoble Alpes University

94         Hebrew University of Jerusalem

95         Hokkaido University

96         University of Strasbourg

97         University of Aix-Marseille

98         University Libre Brussels

99         Ruprecht Karl University Heidelberg

100       University of Virginia



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Heather Carpenter
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