Reuters Report Ranks U-M Among World’s Most Innovative Universities

The University of Michigan has been named one of the 100 most innovative university systems in the world in a new report issued Thursday by Reuters. Reuters said the list ranks “educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies, and power new markets and industries.”

U-M snagged the 23rd spot, making it the list’s top-ranked Big 10 university, as well as the only school from Michigan. Stanford University came in first, which isn’t a huge surprise considering its location in the heart of Silicon Valley. Others rounding out the top five were, in order, MIT, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Washington. American universities dominated the list, but a handful of schools from Europe and Asia landed in the top 20.

Reuters recognized U-M’s research expenditures, which it said reached a record $1.48 billion in 2017. “Federal research funding hit a new high of $832 million, and industry sponsorships grew by 14 percent to a record high of more than $106 million,” the report continued. Of the federal research dollars awarded to U-M, $16.7 million was from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which went to engineering researchers developing “advanced microprocessors and new high-speed computer architectures.” The funding will also support a project to create a “system-on-chip that can change its own wiring on the fly to perform specialized microprocessing tasks.”

Reuters lauded Stanford for its number of patents and inventions. U-M, however, bested Stanford in one innovation metric, according to the report. Between 2011 and 2016, Stanford had a 41.5 percent success rate on the patents it filed. During that same timeframe, U-M had a 44.1 percent success rate.

Reuters ranked university systems as a whole rather than by individual campuses, meaning that for U-M, its score included stats from its Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn locations. To learn more about the report’s methodology, click here.

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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