The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and Germany’s Fraunhofer Society have topped Reuters’ ranking of The World’s Most Innovative Research Institutions, a list that identifies which publicly funded and operated organizations are doing the most to advance science, pioneer new technologies, and power new markets and industries.
Government agencies have long been on the forefront of innovation, conducting long-term and expensive R&D that private companies can find hard to justify to shareholders. The results of government-funded research are part of everyday life, including fluorescent lights, lasers, the global positioning system and the Internet.
Germany leads the list with five institutions in the top 25, followed by France, Japan and the United States, each with four. The eight other countries represented in the ranking (Australia, Canada, China, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and the United Kingdom) each only have one. Viewed on a regional basis, European institutions dominate the list, with 11 ranked institutions compared to nine in the Asia-Pacific and five in North America.
To compile the 2019 ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Research Institutions, Clarivate Analytics identified more than 600 global organizations that published the most articles in academic journals, then reduced that list to only include institutions that filed at least 50 patents with the World Intellectual Property Organization between 2012 and 2017. Then they evaluated each candidate on 10 different metrics, focusing on academic papers (which indicate basic research) and patent filings (which point to an institution’s ability to apply research and commercialize its discoveries). Finally, they trimmed the list so that it only included government-run or funded organizations, and then ranked them based on their performance.
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World’s Most Innovative Research Institutions
1 Health & Human Services Laboratories USA
2 Fraunhofer Society Germany
3 CEA France
4 Japan Science & Technology Agency (JST) Japan
5 Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore
6 RIKEN Japan
7 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Japan
8 National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) France
9 National Institute of Health & Medical Research France
10 Chinese Academy of Sciences China
11 Medical Research Council UK
12 US Department of Veteran Affairs USA
13 Korea Institute of Science & Technology South
14 National Institute of Materials Science (NIMS) - Japan
15 Max Planck Society Germany
16 German Cancer Research Center Germany
17 Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Australia
18 Academia Sinica Taiwan
19 National Research Council Canada Canada
20 German Research Center for Environmental Health Germany
21 Los Alamos National Laboratory USA
22 Jülich Research Center Germany
23 Spanish National Research Council Spain
24 United States Navy USA
25 National Institute for Research in Computer Science France
and Automation (Inria)
[Reuters PR Blog Post]