Assoc. Prof. Dr. David J. Harding participated in the THE Innovation & Impact Summit 2021 on 19-22 April 2021

Assoc. Prof. Dr. David J. Harding, Head of the Walailak University Ranking Team and Deputy Director of the Center for International Affairs (CIA) participated in the THE Innovation & Impact Summit 2021 on 19-22 April 2021. The summit featured the exclusive live reveal of the THE Impact Rankings 2021, a global performance table that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The summit hosted in partnership with the University of Auckland and the Pennsylvania State University, examined the critical factors for supporting research impact based around these agenda themes: What are the key drivers of global innovation?, the right vision of impact?, Does impact create resilience? and Do we know what we need?.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Harding revealed it is the first time that Walailak University (WU) has attended a THE Innovation & Impact Summit and is pleased to see WU ranked. WU expects to use the THE SDG Impact Dashboard to empower the university to achieve our sustainability goals. He reflects on some key points for the University as we work towards this challenging goal.

  1. Innovation requires sustained investment and a clear policy that isn’t always changing.
  2. Research grants need to be a minimum of 3 years to ensure that big problems can be tackled.
  3. Rules around industry partnership with universities need to be flexible and non-prescriptive.
  4. Bureaucracy needs to be minimized and universities freed from hierarchy.
  5. Staff and students need to be fully supported so their creativity can be unleashed.

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