Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge Exchange notes

Knowledge Exchange (KE) is at the heart of university-business collaboration. KE refers to any process through which academic ideas and research are shared and in return external perspectives and experiences are contributed.

The KE process both maximises the impact of academic work but enhances it through exposure to new sources of information. KE between businesses and universities include Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, IP (Intellectual Property) licensing, consultancy and training. University-business KE can increase revenues for both parties and benefit the UK economy and society.

NCUB aims to clearly define models of KE and best practice as well as establishing the actions needed to increase the scale and quality of university-business KE.

Knowledge Exchange Roundtables

To deliver against the ambitions of the Industrial Strategy, and extract the fullest value from the UK’s research and innovation capabilities, even better university-business collaboration will be required.

In concert with Research England, our autumn 2018 roundtables brought together examples of success, ambition and remaining obstacles to better knowledge exchange. These were submitted to Research England and devolved funding bodies to build on earlier NCUB advice on the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF). Read the letter and a blog by NCUB CEO Dr Joe Marshall summarising the recommendations.

Evidence to the KEF Metrics Technical Advisory Group Organised by UKRI

The creation of an accountability framework for Knowledge Exchange is not without challenge. As NCUB has observed, the exchange of knowledge between universities and the wider economy and society encompasses a wide variety of activities, some of which are easier to observe (and count) than others.

As we highlighted in our submission to the KEF metrics technical advisory group, it will be important for the development of the KEF to take as broad a view of all the elements of knowledge exchange activities and not simply count traditional activities. It should be used as a framework to encourage and stimulate new activities that further increase the reach and engagement universities have, and support the cultivation of favourable external conditions. But it must also further encourage behaviour change for universities to look out and understand the needs and requirements of the recipients of the exchange. The value and benefit must be understood as much in their terms and metrics of success as it is for the universities.

Easy Access IP Report

Easy Access IP provides for a simple one-page legal agreement for using university Intellectual Property to benefit society. This report takes a first look at how well the scheme has worked, in response to a request from the department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Read the report.

Sustaining Knowledge Exchange Income Growth Report

KE activities are a source of income for higher eduaction institutions (HEIs) and reached £3.57bn in 2012-13. How can universities continue to grow thier income from Knowledge Exchange? This NCUB Research report offers new evidence on the patterns of and reasons for sustained growth of KE income across HEIs in the UK. Read the report

Business Perspectives on Knowledge Exchange

How does business view the knowledge exchange process? NCUB contributed to a large scale survey of UK Businesses on the subject carried out by the UK Innovation Research Centre, Connecting with the Ivory Tower. Read the report.

The survey reveals for example that whilst perceptions of barriers to university-business collaboration often focus on timescales and IP protection, the most frequently cited obstacle was internal capacity, with businesses fearing they lack the resources to effectively manage partnerships.

This is one example of NCUB helping business and universities understand each other's perspectives.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Research Councils UK and Innovate UK commissioned NCUB to explore the characteristics of successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).

The resulting report, Key Attributes of Successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, details the actions needed to support successful partnerships.

In order to reach practitioners directly, these findings were presented in a more accessible form through the KTP summary report series:

The launch of the summary report series was accompanied by KTP Month, featuring original blogs and case studies across the NUCB website.

 to the technical advisory group
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