The ranking Europe’s Most Innovative Universities 2018 analyzed ten indicators in the period from 2011 to 2016, including:
- how many patents the universities applied for and were awarded, especially international patents
- how frequently these patents were cited in other patent applications
- how often the university's scientific publications were cited in patent applications as well as in industrial research publications.
TUM has been ranked sixth in the vanguard, led by Belgium's KU Leuven, Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge. Two additional members of the EuroTech Universities Alliance are also among the Top 10: the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in fourth place and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in ninth place.
The ranking reflects TUM's successful technology transfer strategy, the university's third pillar together with research and teaching. It includes not only patent policies, but also support for the founding of approximately 70 start-up companies each year. According to the “German Startup Monitor“ TUM produces the most start-up founders of any German university. TUM enters into long-term research partnerships with the most innovative global players, most recently with Google. More and more companies are locating directly on the campus.