With the number seven position, TUM has retained its spot among Europe's 10 most innovative universities in the fourth edition of the Reuters Ranking. Close partners of TUM also achieved high ratings, with Imperial College London, EPF Lausanne and DTU in Copenhagen placing 3rd, 5th and 13th, respectively. The Belgian university KU Leuven is again ranked first in Europe. Among countries, Germany has the most universities in the top 100.
To compile the ranking, Reuters analyzed 10 indicators for the period 2012–2017, including
- the number of patent filings and approvals, in particular international patents
- citations of these patents in other patent filings
- citations of universities' scientific publications in patent filings and industry research publications.
TUM's high ranking is therefore indicative of its outstanding technology transfer efforts – in other words, activities that convert research into real-world applications that benefit society. Apart from applying for and utilizing patents, this includes long-term research partnerships with companies and the support provided by TUM to help more than 70 start-ups get off the ground every year. According to the "German Startup Monitor", TUM spawns more entrepreneurs than any other German university.