The event, which will take place from 31 May to 2 June, will be on the theme: “Powering universities’ economic and social impact through innovative research and teaching”. It will explore topics such as commercialising research findings and “turning ideas into impact”; university-business links; the place for curiosity-led research in a world demanding short-term impact; and through a dedicated teaching strand, how innovation in teaching and learning is preparing students for successful careers.
THE World University Rankings editor Phil Baty will lead a consultative session on the development of new metrics that could be used to recognise and reward universities’ economic and social impact.
The event will have a focus on successful case studies and practical sessions, as well as on networking between university leaders, business and policy makers.
Mr Baty said: “The impact a university has on the economy and our wider society through its innovations and inventions has never been higher on the global agenda, so Times Higher Education is thrilled to be hosting its first ever Innovation and Impact Summit with a dynamic university at the forefront of this agenda: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
“In the East, abundant funding and reforms designed to develop world-class universities have been justified by the need to put higher education at the heart of new knowledge economies, to secure future financial prosperity. In the West, in times of economic austerity, universities are increasingly asked to prove their economic impact in order to justify their share of scare public funding, in competition with schools, hospitals and other public services. And across the world, ever more discerning prospective students demand more information on which universities have rolled up their sleeves to get close to the ‘real world’ of business and industry, to offer them better connections and employment opportunities.
“This new summit, an exciting new part of Times Higher Education’s three year-old World Summit Series, will bring university and industry leaders together not only to celebrate universities’ impact on the world, but to also explore ways to enhance such impact, through the sharing of best practice, through exclusive new data insights from the THE data team, through case studies, and most importantly, through networking between thought leaders from across the world.”
Summit host PolyU has a focus on professional education, applied research and partnerships with business, with its motto: “To learn and to apply, for the benefit of mankind”. The event will be hosted at the university’s unique Hotel ICON, a five-star hotel in the heart of Kowloon which is wholly owned by the university and is an extension of its School of Hotel and Tourism Management.
Mr Baty said: “It is particularly exciting, and fitting, that the hotel and our summit venue is a living and breathing case study of a university’s commitment to teaching impact, applied research, innovation and entrepreneurialism. It really is the prefect venue for such an event.”
PolyU president Timothy W. Tong said: “The Hong Kong Polytechnic University is delighted to host Times Higher Education’s first Innovation and Impact Summit in June 2017 in Hong Kong.
“I believe this will be a great opportunity for universities, entrepreneurs and other key stakeholders to gather together and explore how a university could impact the world through innovative research, invention and education. There will be high-level exchange of insights and new ideas on various topics on innovation and its impact, as well as the way forward for collaboration and co-creation for public good. You will definitely be stimulated and inspired.”
The event forms part of THE’s growing world summit series, which includes the Young Universities Summit, BRICS & Emerging Economies Summit, Asia Universities Summit and the flagship World Academic Summit.