Innovation leader

Weizmann Institute 6th in Nature Innovation Index


Date: August 20, 2017

The Nature Index 2017 Innovation supplement published by the journal Nature ranked the Weizmann Institute of Science sixth in the international roster of the world’s top 200 research institutions.

The index is a measure of how effectively basic research translates into commercial applications.

The Nature Index, based on a metric devised by its partner, The Lens, ranks institutions according to the impact of their academic research on innovation by measuring how their publications are cited by patents held by third parties—that is, not by the institutions themselves. The metric combines information on the number of cited articles produced by scientists at a particular institution and the relative contribution of individual authors to each publication. The results were released on August 9.

The Weizmann Institute was the only non-U.S. institution in the top 10. The top-ranking institution is the Scripps Research Institute, followed by Rockefeller University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“This analysis comes at a time when following the transfer of scientific knowledge into industry and the economy is a growing priority for governments and research funding agencies—for them, the need to demonstrate that publicly funded science is being used for society’s benefit is paramount,” said David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index.

Richard Jefferson, founder of the Lens metric, said: “By linking published research with patents as an open, global public good, we can start mapping the influence and role of academic science in the innovation ecosystem. This is a first step towards ‘innovation cartography,’” adding that “it will enable scientists, investors, businesses and policy makers to make better, evidence-based choices of partnerships and pathways to deliver new products, services, and practices for society.”

Weizmann Institute President Prof. Daniel Zajfman said that “our high place in this index reflects our guiding philosophy that we recruit scientists who are among the best in the world and let them follow their curiosity. That is what leads, in the end, to innovative and surprising new applications that shape the future.”

The Nature Index also revealed that the Weizmann Institute ranks fifth in applications for patents of its own.

The top ten

  1. Scripps Research Institute in San Diego
  2. Rockefeller University in New York
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  4. University of Massachusetts Medical School
  5. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  6. Weizmann Institute of Science
  7. National Institutes of Health
  8. University of California San Francisco
  9. Stanford University
  10. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

See full ranking here