Duke fell from 11th to 17th on Reuters 2018 list of the world's most innovative universities.
According to a Reuters news release, the list "identifies and ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries."
Reuters used a variety of factors to rank universities, such as the frequency of its patents being granted, the number of patents with global patent offices and local authorities and the frequency of its patents being cited.
Universities were also evaluated in terms of how often their research papers were cited by patents and the percentage of articles that featured a co-author from industry.
The ranking was compiled from a shortlist of organizations that published the most articles in scholarly journals from 2011 to 2016. The list was reduced to only include those who filed 70 or more world patents—most of which were universities.
The candidates were then evaluated on patent success rate and how often others cited the university's patents. Duke's patent success rate increased in the last year from 29.6 percent to 33.1 percent.
Duke's commercial impact score, an indicator of how often an institution's research influences commercial R&D activity—fell from 67.4 in 2017 to 45.06. The score was measured by number of academic papers cited in patent filings.
In Duke's profile, Reuters singled out Duke club Duke Electric Vehicles for breaking the world record for the most fuel-efficient vehicle. The group's hydrogen fuel cell car surpassed the efficiency of a car created by ETH Zürich.