Stanford University was ranked as No. 1 on the list, holding the spot for four years in a row. Massachusetts Institute of Technology followed as No. 2 on the list, and Harvard University claimed the No. 3 spot.
Other Ivy League universities also placed high — after Harvard and Penn, Cornell University placed at No. 16 on the list, Columbia University placed at No. 33, Yale University placed at No. 38, and Princeton University placed at No. 64. Dartmouth College and Brown University were not on the list.
United States universities held the majority of spots on the list, claiming 46 of the top 100 innovative universities in the world. With nine represented universities each, Germany and Japan tied for second place.
Penn's No. 4 ranking comes after recent efforts to increase innovation on campus.
In October 2016, the Pennovation Center opened in the Lower Schuylkill area. This past July, Penn announced a new collaboration with Johnson & Johnson to work on new health technologies at the Pennovation Center.
Penn President Amy Gutmann's Penn Compact 2020, a list of priorities for the University, was recently updated in 2013 to include innovation as one of its goals. Gutmann has refocused this emphasis on innovation through the implementation of programs such as the $100,000 President’s Innovation Prize in 2016. Penn even declared the 2017-18 school year the "Year of Innovation."
Reuters bases its rankings on the university's number of articles in scholarly journals, the number of patents filed by each university, and the number of research paper citations.
Penn earned its spot by filing 557 patents between 2011 and 2016 with a 31.2 percent success rate. With a $966 million research budget in 2018, Penn's academic papers cited in patent filings also scored 17.67 points higher than the average commercial impact.