About the summit

Times Higher Education, the global authority on higher education, is delighted to be partnering with the prestigious Swedish university KTH Royal Institute of Technology for the Innovation & Impact Summit 2020. The summit will build on THE’s global dialogue to unite leaders of the best and most ambitious universities with policymakers, world-class researchers and the companies that are shaping our future, around the contribution that higher education institutions can make to a successful, prosperous and sustainable innovation ecosystem.

Leaders will gather to explore some of the deep issues that affect the creation of a positive environment for innovation, and question how research universities can sustain and support that environment. We will debate the importance of talent, regulation, diversity and investment in delivering a prosperous innovation climate, and what kind of impact that may have in the market and in wider society.

How is higher education supporting the success of innovation-based companies originating from Sweden and northern Europe? What is the impact of universities in a socio-economic model that produces high levels of equality greater social mobility and high standards of human development? And can that impact be emulated in different regions of the world?

In a future that will be characterised by hyper-connected globalisation, dominated by the infrastructure and technological norms as defined by a relatively small number of companies, will universities follow this trend towards convergence, or must diversity and independence be increasingly protected?

The summit covers two full days of interviews, debates and discussions, and networking events including a gala dinner, drinks receptions, lunches and social events. We invite you to join this essential conversation, in partnership with KTH, among university leaders, innovators, investors, research directors and policymakers across the globe, to build your network and understanding of the most pressing issues in global higher education.

Programme themes

A combination of keynote speeches, participatory debates, industry visits, case studies and panel discussions will support attendees as they consider these key themes:

  • How universities can create a national innovation culture
  • Regulating responsibly – is there a role for universities?
  • Assessing impact – where can universities make the greatest intervention?
  • Lean innovation – the value of diversity

Read more about the summit themes

View the programme

Why attend?

  • Be the first to know the results of the THE  University Impact Rankings 2020, which will be revealed at the summit
  • Gain exclusive analysis and understand the data behind ranking, and learn how your institution can improve
  • Join a global network of leaders, experts and decision-makers who set the agenda for excellence in higher education
  • Share your experience with THE’s worldwide audience of higher education professionals


Who should attend?

Hundreds of leaders from the world’s best and most ambitious universities and research-led companies will reflect on what are the optimum conditions for human talent to develop and how some of the key obstacles can be overcome.

Participants include vice-chancellors, rectors, presidents, deputy presidents, vice-presidents and distinguished scholars representing higher education and governments along with industries and businesses with close links to both sectors.

Here’s what previous attendees said







Innovation & Impact Summit 2019

The Times Higher Education Innovation & Impact Summit 2019 took place 2-4 April in Daejeon, South Korea, at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The summit united over 270 global leaders of the best and most ambitious universities with policy-makers, world-class researchers and the companies that shape our future around the vital questions on university impact. Delegates participated in discussion and debate on topics including leading for impact, entrepreneurship and empowering future leaders, as well as looking at the social impact of higher education and how impact and innovation can be measured.

Programme: View the full summit programme and list of speakers

Podcast: Hear the THE  team and university leaders talk about their highlights and the hot topics discussed at the summit

Video portal: Revisit the summit sessions

Global partners