14 June 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
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, building a methodology that employs 10 different metrics. 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. Finally, they trimmed the list so that it only included European universities, and then ranked them based on their performance.
The Irish situation
The Republic of Ireland only has three institutions on the entire list, but with a population under 5 million people, it can boast more top 100 innovative universities per capita than any other country in Europe. Trinity College Dublin, ranked #48, is Ireland’s highest-ranked university. Next is University College Cork, ranked #74, and University College Dublin is ranked #94.
UCC in particular
In the reference period 2008-2013 UCC filed 82 patents, 25% of which were granted. The application were mostly in Pharma and Biotech. UCC scored 64.3 for commercial impact, which is above the survey average of 48.7. Commercial Impact is an indicator of how often basic research originating at an Institution has influenced commercial R&D activity, as measured by academic papers cited in patent filings.