Asia’s Most Innovative Universities Revealed

Innovation is a hallmark of humankind. Recently, Reuters announced its second annual ranking of Asia Pacific’s most innovative universities. Using research paper citations and patents, among other features, Reuters rankings identified top universities in this region. Despite the political restlessness in South Korea, the universities there were particularly highly ranked. As pointed out by the researchers from Reuters and their associate Clarivate Analytics, academia and industry work closely together.

Top Innovative Universities in Asia

The list of top innovative universities includes:

  1. KAIST (formerly known as Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) in South Korea
  2. Seoul National University in South Korea
  3. University of Tokyo in Japan
  4. Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea
  5. Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea

 Notably, four of the top five most innovative universities are based in South Korea. This is a trend that is extended throughout the top 75 list. Indeed, 22 of the top 75 most innovative universities are from South Korea. Meanwhile, 21 of the top 75 most innovative universities are from mainland China (this number extends to 25 if you consider mainland China and Hong Kong-based universities).

Determining the Rankings

Reuters worked with Clarivate Analytics to identify more than 600 global organizations that published in academic journals. From this list of 600, those that filed at least 50 patents were then advanced to the next round of consideration. Once there, researchers considered several factors using a proprietary formula. Notably, these factors included the volume of influential inventions developed, the number of submitted patents, and the number of citations of inventions in other patents or research papers.

Innovation for a university has both prestigious and practical importance. While students are more attracted to highly publishing and productive universities, there is more to the story than just reputation. Highly innovative universities often rely on the potential commercialization of patents as a way to identify new sources of revenue.

This Reuters ranking highlighted the most innovative universities in the Asia Pacific. Using research paper citations, among other variables, they identified who was providing the most groundbreaking research and patents. Researchers and students alike should be mindful of such a reputation as they consider where to go next in their career.

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