Rating universities on innovation & knowledge transfer: QS Stars | Top Universities

Rating universities on innovation & knowledge transfer: QS Stars

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Craig OCallaghan

Updated May 15, 2024



QS Stars: Innovation & knowledge transfer

Universities play a vital role in driving progress. QS Stars evaluates their commitment to innovation (creating new ideas) and knowledge transfer (sharing those ideas with the world). By choosing a university that prioritises innovation and knowledge transfer, you’ll be part of a community pushing the boundaries of discover and creating real-world impact.  

Innovation and knowledge transfer is an elective category assessed under the Research and innovation criteria of QS Stars. 

Institutions are assessed for their innovation and knowledge transfer based on the following:  

Patent grants 

Institutions with a strong portfolio of patents can attract additional research funding and investment from industry partners who see commercial potential in the research. This often translates into new facilities and leading faculty. Patents also encourage entrepreneurship within the academic community, and you can be a part of it. Faculty and students can leverage patents as a foundation to launch commercial ventures based on their research. This fosters a cycle of innovation and economic growth. 

Universities will be awarded full points for having at least 50 active patents that are registered with national or international patent offices. 

Patent applications 

The number of patent applications a university files is a strong indicator of its commitment to innovation. A strategic patent filing process, coupled with strong research and development activity, builds their reputation as an innovation leader, meaning you’ll likely be learning from some of the most forward-thinking minds in your field. Universities with a strong reputation for innovation often attract research grants, opening doors for you to get involved in world-changing projects. 

An institution will receive full points if they have filed 300 unique patent applications, with no time restriction. 

Spin-off companies 

The success of spin-off companies can elevate an institution's reputation as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.  These companies are more than just businesses – they're platforms for hands-on learning. You could have the chance to connect your studies with real-world challenges through internships, research opportunities, or even working directly with a spin-off company. 

Maximum points are awarded to the institution if, within the last five years, it has established five spin-off companies that are still in operation and are less than 50% owned by the university. 

Industrial research 

Universities with strong industry partnerships bridge the gap between theory and practice. Learn from professors collaborating with leading companies, giving you access to the latest industry knowledge. These partnerships can also result in cutting-edge facilities with advanced equipment for hands-on learning.  

The benefits extend beyond the classroom. Network with peers who have industry connections, opening doors to internships, research projects, and future jobs. 

Strong university-industry links equip you with in-demand skills and a valuable network – a clear advantage in today's job market. 

Full points will be awarded to institutions if they have 10 distinct university-corporate co-authored publications in Scopus™ in a recent five-year period as per the latest QS World University Rankings analysis. 

Your academic journey can be even more impactful when you choose a university that actively translates research into real-world progress. QS Stars helps you identify these institutions through in-depth evaluation and a clear rating system, allowing you to compare universities in the areas you care about. 

By using QS Stars, you can easily find the perfect environment to launch your academic journey and contribute to shaping the future. 

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