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Vrije Universiteit Brussel is the third Flemish university on Reuter’s prestigious list of most innovative universities in Europe. This year, VUB moves up one place from 48th to 47th, after Ghent University (33rd) and KU Leuven (1st), which topped the list for a third consecutive time. On the whole the increase of one place doesn’t look like much, but it reafirms VUB’s decision to sustainably invest more in innovation. Vicerector for Innovation and Valorisation Hugo Thienpont: “Over the past years we have strategically opted for a structural innovation policy. The gradual, yet continuous growth of the past years, as exemplified by the Reuters list, validates the correctness of that choice.”
“Given the size of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, this is a remarkably good score” Hugo Thienpont adds. “In this university ranking not just the amount of patents is taken into account, but also the value thereof, where they look at the countries in which they are registered, the quotations to these patents, the publications quoted in the patents and the co-authors from industry. That is a different set of indicators than is usually applied in rankings.”
This also explains to an important degree why VUB decided to commit to the relatively expensive strategy of building a patent portfolio; not just to add to the visibility of VUB as a reliable and valued partner for cooperation with companies and to create an additional revenue stream, but also to show society that VUB is an innovative university, that wishes to bring its research results closer to society.
“Patience and a sense of reality are crucial in this matter,” explains professor Thienpont, “but with determination and tenacity we will continue to expand the innovative capabilities of VUB step by step. That way we can guarantee that this revenue continues to be reinvested in excellent researchers, open innovation and industrial cooperation.”