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What is knowledge transfer?
Knowledge transfer is a system of support, operated by the UK knowledge transfer policy bodies, that aims to stimulate socially and economically productive interactions between higher education institutions and other communities. Ideas about knowledge transfer as a process are also undergoing great change; a shift that recognises the multiple facets of knowledge transfer, and knowledge transfer as a conversation, in many different stages of the research process.
RCUK, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS, previously OSI) and the Research Councils view knowledge transfer thus: (STFC 2007):
“The UK Research Councils seek to accelerate the two-way flow of people and ideas between the research environment and wider economy, and thereby contribute to national prosperity, the quality of life of UK citizens, and cultural enrichment of our society. Knowledge Transfer encompasses the systems and processes by which knowledge, expertise and skilled people transfer between the research environment (universities, centres and institutes) and its user communities in industry, commerce, public and service sectors.”
The most recent policy documents acknowledge that policy communities, as well as industry, can be involved in knowledge transfer. "Effective knowledge transfer requires specific institutional arrangements to pass knowledge from research establishments into wealth-creation and public policy-making, and an infrastructure of intellectual property rights, standards and metrology" (HM Treasury 2007).
UK policy organisations with an interest in Knowledge Transfer
Funding for Knowledge Transfer
Public Sector Research Exploitation (PSRE) Fund This has invested £50 million in a diverse range of organisations to commercialise their research (HM Treasury 2007), establishing at least 12 new companies, which themselves have attracted over £14 million of third party funds and now employ more than 90 new staff (HM Treasury 2007). PSRE funds have also supported the NHS Innovation Hubs in England, which are designed to help translate ideas emerging from the NHS’s R&D budget and the practical experience of its 1.3 million staff into commercial products and improved patient care (HM Treasury 2007).
For individual research fellows:
For members of the public, small businesses or other non-academic groups:
UK academics with an interest in Knowledge Transfer
Resources for Knowledge Transfer
The British Library Business & IP Centre offers free onsite access to an enormous range of subscription databases, including Global Market Information Database, Euromonitor International, Thomson Business Intelligence and print publications covering market research, financial & company data, patents and trademarks. Anyone with a British Library Visitor's Pass can use these resources from the British Library in London.
AHRC (2007) 'Knowledge Transfer in the Arts and Humanities' http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/about/ke/knowledge.asp
AURIL (2007) 'About Auril' http://www.auril.org.uk
CSR (2006) Innovation and Wealth Creation: letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer http://www2.cst.gov.uk/cst/reports/files/services_letter.doc
(DTI (2007) 'About the Technology Strategy Board' http://www.berr.gov.uk/innovation/technologystrategyboard/page40217.html
HM Treasury (2003) 'The Lambert Review of Business-University Collaboration: Final Report', 4 December http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/consultations_and_legislation/lambert/consult_lambert_index.cfm
HM Treasury (1999) 'The Commercialisation of Public Sector Research, A report by John Baker to the Minister for Science and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury' http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/documents/enterprise_and_productivity/research_and_enterprise/ent_sme_baker.cfm
OSI (2007) 'Knowledge Transfer from the Research Base' http://www.dti.gov.uk/science/knowledge-transfer/index.html
SPRU (1996) 'Relationship between publicly funded research and economic performance: a review for HM Treasury' http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/7/2/156.pdf
UUK (2006) Universities UK's Response to the Select Committee on Science and Technology's Inquiry into Research Council Support for Knowledge Transfer http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/parliament/showEvidence.asp?id=31