UW News

September 16, 2015

Reuters names UW the world’s most innovative public university, fourth overall

UW News

The University of Washington is the most innovative public university in the world, according to a new ranking by Reuters released Wednesday. The UW is ranked fourth overall, behind only Stanford, MIT and Harvard.

“Innovation and turning ideas into action are at the center of everything we do,” UW Interim President Ana Mari Cauce said. “This is great recognition of the hard work done by our faculty and students working across all disciplines, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.”

The Reuters ranking aims to measure innovation, noting it is “one of the most oft-cited buzzwords in both academia and the business world, but its usage isn’t consistent.” Reuters ranked the world’s top 100 innovative universities empirically, building a methodology that focuses on academic papers, which indicate basic research performed at a university, and patent filings and successes, which point to an institution’s interest in protecting and commercializing its discoveries, among other metrics.

“Every innovation ecosystem in the world has at its center a top university, and the UW is delighted to play that role in the Pacific Northwest,” said Vikram Jandhyala, UW’s vice provost for innovation. “It is unique and inclusive and plays a central role in linking to other ecosystems across the world.”

With research grants and contracts amounting to $1.39 billion in 2014, $1.08 billion of which came from federal sources, the UW receives more federal research funding than any other public university in the U.S. The UW also recently announced the fall 2016 opening of the Global Innovation Exchange, a project-based, team-based and experiential learning program where students will be encouraged to take risks and think creatively about solving the world’s problems, with partners Tsinghua University and Microsoft. And in fiscal year 2014, 18 new startups based on UW research technologies were launched – a record for the university, bringing its 10-year total to 103 technology startups.