Reuters ranks Indiana University 37th on list of world’s most innovative universities

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Once again, Indiana University ranks among the world’s 50 most innovative universities, climbing 12 spots above last year’s performance in a Reuters News analysis of patent and publishing data from more than 600 research institutions worldwide.

The latest findings of The Reuters 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities, released Wednesday, finds IU ranked 37th worldwide and 25th among U.S. universities. Last year’s study placed IU 49th worldwide and 33rd among U.S. universities. Ten of the Top 100, including IU, are part of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, an academic consortium formerly known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.  

To assess innovative activity, the study first identified institutions that published the most articles in scholarly journals from 2009 to 2014, and then narrowed the list by cross-referencing the number of patents each institution filed based on university inventions. Other criteria included the number of patents filed with global patent offices and local authorities, the number of patents granted, how often the patents were cited and the percentage of articles that featured a co-author from industry.

IU’s showing in Reuters' latest innovation list reflects progress in meeting the goals of the university’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan approved in 2014 by IU’s trustees. Among many initiatives, it calls for the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. to offer the highest quality of support for entrepreneurial activity, enhance the application and transfer of knowledge, and foster a pervasive entrepreneurial culture.

"Through our Bicentennial Strategic Plan, Indiana University seeks to build a community of scholars that is respected worldwide across all academic disciplines and to cultivate their ability to collaborate on quality research that improves our state, nation and world," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie, who also chairs the IURTC.

"Their pioneering research is leading to the creation of innovative new products and processes for the marketplace and driving economic growth and innovation throughout our state. This latest recognition from Reuters confirms our standing as an economic powerhouse in Indiana, and it indicates the increasing success we have had in transforming the lives of people here and around the world."

Tony Armstrong, president and CEO of IURTC, said the research conducted by faculty inventors forms the foundation of the organization's success. During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, IURTC was issued a record 53 patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and 165 domestic and global patents overall. It also executed 46 license agreements, up 84 percent over 2014-2015 totals, and generated $7.03 million in revenue.

Additionally, the IURTC received 150 invention disclosures from IU researchers, filed 326 global patent applications and launched four startups through its Spin Up entrepreneurial program.

"Without invention disclosures by Indiana University faculty, IURTC would not have had a record year in issued U.S. patents or achieved year-over-year increases in license agreements and generated revenue," Armstrong said. "The future looms bright as IURTC has moved its Indianapolis headquarters closer to researchers and inventors. We also will implement new structures and programming to support the commercialization of IU inventions in the market."

As IU continues to translate cutting-edge research into commercially viable technologies, it also expands the university’s role in contributing to the economic vitality of Indiana, said Bill Stephan, IU’s vice president for engagement, whose office oversees all of IU’s economic development activities.

"These latest innovation rankings, along with our record year in patent issues, reflect IU’s efforts to drive innovation, help create new jobs and support new industries," Stephan said. "Over the long term, this spurs economic growth throughout the state and improves our overall quality of life."

About IURTC: IURTC is a not-for-profit corporation tasked with the protecting and commercializing of technology emanating from innovations by IU researchers. Since 1997, IU research has generated more than 2,700 inventions resulting in over 4,100 global patent applications being filed by IURTC. These discoveries have generated more than $135 million in licensing and royalty income, including more than $112 million in funding for IU departments, labs and inventors.

About Innovate Indiana: Innovate Indiana engages strategic partners to advance Indiana University's intellectual resources and expertise, enhance Indiana’s economy and improve Hoosiers' quality of life. For more information, follow Innovate Indiana on Twitter.