Reuters: University of Washington ranks as 5th most innovative university in the world; No. 1 among public universities.

The University of Washington ranks No. 5 in Reuters’ list of the word’s most innovative universities. It’s an extremely impressive showing.

The University of Washington places fifth overall on Reuters’ ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Universities but is the highest-ranked public university on the list. UW receives more federal research funding than any other U.S. public university, and its total research funding has nearly tripled over the past 20 years to more than $1.35 billion in fiscal year 2018.

Recent research highlights include the development of artificial intelligence programs to identify cancerous cells in breast tissue biopsies. By training a computer to identify the visual markers of carcinoma, the researchers were able to outperform doctors in certain tests, correctly diagnosing pre-invasive breast cancer biopsies about 89 percent of the time, compared to 70 percent for pathologists. In October 2019, UW announced that it had received a $50 million gift from philanthropists Lynn and Mike Garvey to establish the Garvey Institute for Brain Health Solutions, a research center dedicated to developing new treatments for brain disorders including depression, addiction and Alzheimer’s disease.

Stanford ranks No. 1, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania.

The methodology focuses on patent production. After narrowing down the list of academic institutions by reviewing scholarly journals and patent filings,

Each candidate university was then evaluated using various indicators including how often a university’s patent applications were granted, how many patents were filed with global patent offices and local authorities and how often the university’s patents were cited by others. Universities were also evaluated in terms of how often their research papers were cited by patents and the percentage of articles that featured a co-author from industry.

In a press release the UW says,

For the third consecutive year, the UW maintains its position as the top-ranked U.S. public institution on the list.

“It’s an honor to once again be recognized for the culture of innovation that infuses the University of Washington, a culture that contributes to the enormous impact that our research, scholarship and discovery have on our students and the public we serve,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce.

Reuters’ ranking relies exclusively on empirical data such as patent filings and recent research paper citations, the publication reported.

The UW has placed in the top 10 since the ranking began in 2015.

The Geek Wire report on the rankings includes this,

UW filed a total of 561 patents between 2012 and 2017, a third of which were granted. It also received a high score for commercial research and development, which is measured by academic papers cited in patent filings.

Innovation drives much of Washington’s economic vitality. The Washington Roundtable’s Benchmarks for a Better Washington includes “patents granted” as a measure of growth and innovation. In the most recent release of the annual report, Washington ranked No. 3 on that dimension.