Russian colleges raise more money than US rivals

Recent rankings look at the relationship between business and science in different countries

Russian universities have come close to joining the top 10 of the Thomson Reuters/Times Higher Education World Academic Summit Innovation Index of corporate contributions per researcher. Russia placed 11th, with $36,500, ahead of the United States ($25,800), Hong Kong ($20,000), Germany ($14,900) and Israel ($13,600).

This category looks at university research income, scaled against research staff numbers and normalized for purchasing-power parity for each university (as opposed to using foreign exchange rates, because one U.S. dollar buys different amounts of goods and services in different countries) .

Experts say Russia’s place in the ranking appears quite high. This is largely because analysts only looked at investments in the World University Rankings Top 400 universities. Leading Russian universities do receive a lot of money from business, but the overall picture is far from rosy.

That being said, certain positive trends have emerged as well: Most Russian universities have been establishing special divisions to manage intellectual property and commercialize research.

According to Investcafe analyst Timur Nigmatullin, Russia’s place in the ranking is well deserved, especially considering its purchasing-power parity methodology.

“Examples of research conducted by Russian universities include Moscow State University’s successful studies of modern deep-water geological processes on the fringes of continents, or development of oil and gas software for supercomputers,” Nigmatullin said. “Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute has successfully developed composite nuclear fuel tablets, highly efficient materials for nuclear power plant neuron catchers and capsule complexes for endoscopic examinations.”

Published by Times Higher Education magazine (Britain), with data supplied by Thomson Reuters, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (or THE World University Rankings) are regarded as of the most influential annual world university rankings.

Originally developed in 2010, the Times Higher Education has replaced Times Higher Education–QS World University Rankings, which began publishing in 2004 with Quacquarelli Symonds.

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