THE and PolyU co-host Innovation & Impact Summit


Powering Universities’ Economic and Social Impact  through Innovative Research and Teaching  

More than 200 participants, including influential higher education and industry leaders, entrepreneurs and policy-makers around the globe, gather in Hong Kong for the inaugural Times Higher Education (THE) Innovation & Impact Summit. Co-hosted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and THE, the Summit inspires participants with a series of thought-provoking panel discussions on best practices and case studies to empower universities’ economic and social impact through innovative research and teaching.

The Summit, a key celebratory event of PolyU’s 80th anniversary held from 31 May to 2 June, also features inspiring keynote speeches from pioneers in world-renowned organisations and enterprises in the innovation and technology sector.

In his welcoming remarks today (1 June), Professor Timothy W. Tong, PolyU President, said, “I am pleased to note that PolyU has recently been identified by THE as one of the ‘up-and-coming international powerhouses’ or ‘technology challengers’ which have innovation at the core of their strategy, strong industry links and research that excels in technological areas. PolyU looks forward to joining hands with more powerhouses of knowledge around the world to empower universities’ economic and social impact, shaping a better future for all.”

Also addressing the Summit welcoming session today are The Hon. Nicholas Yang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR; and Mr Phil Baty, Editorial Director, Global Rankings, THE.

The Summit was inaugurated by the keynote address of high-profile technology entrepreneur and philanthropist Mr Charles Chen Yidan. Mr Chen is core founder of Tencent Holdings Limited, which brought, among other innovative products and services, the social media channel WeChat to more than 846 million people. As the founder of Yidan Prize, which offers research projects huge awards to enhance global education, Mr Chen offered his insights into “leveraging innovation for scalable changes in education around the world” to the Summit participants.

Thought-provoking discussions among education leaders

Throughout the two-day programme, influential higher education figures engage in a series of thought-provoking panel discussions. They include leaders of renowned institutions from Australia, England, Finland, France, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Spain, the United States, and many others.

PolyU shares how our inter-disciplinary approach in pursuing new knowledge and collaboration with top industry partners and organisations to address societal needs. Other world-class innovators and entrepreneurs delivering keynote addresses include: Dr Hermann Hauser, co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners; Dr Candace Johnson, founder/co-founder SES, Loral-Teleport Europe, Europe Online, VATM, GTWN, OWNSAT, Success Europe; and Mr Greg Simon, former executive director, White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force.

Participants gain insights into how universities innovate to address the grand challenges and breed new ideas. In an era in which universities play an expanding role in achieving social progress, they also inspire each other on how to translate research into business and turn ideas into impact.