This article addresses the relationship between innovation, development and the role of universities in the knowledge society. Thus, the article looks at innovation as a phenomenon resulting from research, concept and typology. It also analyzes the implications of potentially disruptive innovations in higher education. Furthermore, it addresses the emergence of the third mission and the expected role of universities in today’s society, from the perspective of the aforementioned third mission, as universities take on a leading role in economic and social development, with innovation and innovation environments as their foundations. Lastly, we seek to identify the role of innovation environments and ecosystems in the process of development of societies and the challenges Universities face in this process.
Innovation; Development; Knowledge society; Innovative environments; Innovation ecosystems