The University of Edinburgh ranks fifth in the world for Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

The University of Edinburgh has been ranked among the world’s top universities by The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for its contribution to the UN SDGs, achieving 5th place globally for Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings assess the social, environmental and economic impact of universities, assessing the performance of universities against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

University of Edinburgh ranked 5th for SDG 9 in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

The University of Edinburgh achieved an overall ranking of 52nd, with an overall score of 91.2. 

Access the rankings.

Leaders in innovation

The University performed particularly strongly in SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, scoring 99.9 out of 100 and maintaining fifth place globally for a second consecutive year. This reflects the University’s ongoing efforts to support startups, foster collaborative partnerships, and develop research income from industry.  

Last year over 110 student and staff startups and spinouts were supported through Edinburgh Innovations, the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service, attracting £107m of investment. Industrial and translational research projects brought in £72.4m of funding.  

As showcased in its Discovery campaigns, Edinburgh Innovations is leading work to translate the University’s academic expertise into innovative, industry-led solutions for the challenges we face today in our priority domains of climate and sustainability, data for good and future health and care.

Dr George Baxter, CEO of Edinburgh Innovations, said:

“To have maintained our ranking at fifth globally for SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure is a fantastic recognition of the continued growing culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh, which has sustainability at its core.

“Our excellent team at EI supports students and academics – from protecting their intellectual property, to partnering with industry on short or long projects, to forming a company – to make ideas work for a better world.”

Case study: Mocean Energy

University of Edinburgh startup Mocean Energy designs and delivers ocean energy equipment to support the transition to clean, renewable energy. Since its launch in 2013, the company has maintained strong links with the University through access to FloWave, co-location on campus and more, recently having received investment via Old College Capital - the University’s in-house venture investment fund. 

Find out more.

Case Study: Plastics turning a problem into a force for good

Dr Jennifer Garden, a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at the School of Chemistry, founded the ‘Garden Group’ to work with industry on chemistry-led solutions to produce recyclable plastics using materials from renewable feedstocks. 

Read the full case study.

Read more case studies from Edinburgh Innovations.

About the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

A total of 1,591 universities participated in the rankings this year, a 13% increase compared to the previous year. This reflects the continued growth of the rankings and increasing efforts across the higher education sector to measure sustainability performance. 

Each university’s overall score is generated from the score for SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals), plus their scores for the three top performing SDGs for which they provided data. 

An enduring commitment to sustainability

The University of Edinburgh's commitment to sustainability and social responsibility is reflected in the University placing within the top 25% of universities for overall score in 13 of the 14 SDGs. 

The University’s overall ranking and score was based on the University’s efforts across research, stewardship, outreach and teaching across the following SDGs:  

  • SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing 

  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 

  • SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals 

The University was ranked 4th in the world in the QS World University Rankings for Sustainability last year. 

Related links

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

Social responsibility and sustainability at the University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Innovations

University ranks first in UK for sustainability

Strategy 2030