At UC Santa Barbara, we pride ourselves on our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and practices. That innovation was recognized this week, when the global media firm Reuters named the University of California system No. 13 on its inaugural list of the Top 100 World’s Most Innovative Universities.
“The Reuters Top 100 World's Most Innovative Universities gets to the essence of what it means to be truly innovative,” Reuters said in its announcement. “The institutions recognized here most reliably produce original research, create useful technology, and have the greatest economic impact. They are the surest bets for anyone seeking to invest in and create real innovation.”
Reuters noted that the UC system is one of the leaders in direct investment in startups. "It has various incubators and accelerators on its campuses, and has established a $250 million venture capital fund, as well as campus-based seed funds for prototypes,” Reuters said.
Innovation has a special meaning for UCSB Graduate Division Dean Carol Genetti. “When I think of the word ‘innovation,’ I think of graduate students,” she said. “Their fresh perspectives, boundless creativity, and ardent conversations with faculty are the very roots of this award. It’s exciting to be at the start of the academic year and think that we are on the verge of so many new discoveries. I can’t wait to hear about them, in this year’s Graduate Student Showcase!”
Stanford University was ranked No. 1 on Reuters’ list, followed by MIT (No. 2) and Harvard University (No. 3).
Reuters’ methodology employed 10 metrics. Among factors considered were academic papers, which point to the volume and impact of research being conducted at a university; and the volume and success of patent filings, which indicates the importance an institution places on protecting and commercializing its discoveries. Also taken into account was the use of cited discoveries in the corporate and academic worlds.
At the Graduate Division’s 2015 Commencement ceremony, keynote speaker David Marshall, UC Santa Barbara’s Executive Vice Chancellor, spoke of the value of research done at UCSB.
“Whatever our disciplines or career paths, we must argue for the value of voyages of discovery, voyages that take us through history to the origins of the universe, voyages that take us to the future,” he said. “We must demonstrate the value of what we do. But we must not lose sight of the value that may not be visible. Unsuspected Nobel Prizes, untold strokes of genius. … This is the work that makes our university worth defending.”
Said Reuters in its article: “Whether they're in the top five or near the end of the list, all 100 universities in this ranking are among the best in the world. Thomson Reuters reviewed hundreds of universities to produce this ranking, and the ones that appear here are the most elite.”
For more information about UC’s innovation honor, read University of California’s “UC ranked among top innovative universities”; Reuters’ “The World’s Most Innovative Universities” and its article, “Universities lead in innovation, Asia a rising power.”