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Top ranking for ETH Domain in patent quality

The Domain of the Federal Institutes of Technology has been placed third worldwide when it comes to the quality of patents. One in three of the ETH’s patents are world class. The ETH institutions are particularly strong in the areas of drones, security technology and photovoltaic technologies.

The ETH institutions are particularly strong in the areas of drones. Image Credit: ETH Zürich/Raffaello D’Andrea
The ETH institutions are particularly strong in the areas of drones. Image Credit: ETH Zürich/Raffaello D’Andrea

By international comparison, the patents of institutions within the Domain of the Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) are of particularly high quality. According to an analysis by BAK Economics, one in three ETH patents are world class, which means these patents are in the top 10 per cent of that technology in the world. The patents of the ETH Domain are therefore ranked third in the global comparison. Only the University of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have a higher share of world class patents.

The institutions within the ETH Domain are particularly strong in the areas of drones, security technology and photovoltaic technologies, the Swiss government reported in a press release on the study. However, the ETH patents were above average in all 17 technologies that were analysed. Within Switzerland, the institutions of the ETH Domain are ranked top when it comes to world class patents.

The study also highlights that the institutions within the ETH Domain work closely together with business. In 2017, 505 new cooperation agreements were concluded with SMEs and industry and 48 spin-offs were founded. A total of 206 patents were registered in the same year.

The ETH Domain consists of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and Lausanne (EPFL) and four research institutes, namely the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag).

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