Update from PraxisAuril CEO, Maxine Ficarra

Dear PraxisAuril members,

I want to share with you our plans for future delivery of our develop, promote and connect programmes as we all settle into our new routines at work and at home - with a fresh set of priorities to keep ourselves and our families safe. 

For PraxisAuril the future is all about flexibility. Our aim is to give you choice: to access PrA resources, events and networks in ways that work best for you.  As such, we will be offering a hybrid schedule of services which you will be able to tailor to suit your individual and organisational requirements.

We understand that many of you are finding digital platforms to be a very effective way of working with colleagues across the community and around the world.  At the same time, others are keen to get back to face to face interactions. KE is, above all, a people business and this is at the heart of all our activities.

Our digital delivery journey

Together with our expert volunteers we’ve learned a lot about online delivery over the last few months, successfully using different digital formats for online training, for SHEDtalk interviews with key stakeholders and for our KEnCoffee policy chats. It was fantastic to see so many members engaging with these events on a regular basis.

Based on this experience, we’re confident that we can continue to provide effective learning and networking through a range of online formats. We’ve taken time to plan carefully how best to do this, especially for our training courses, because at PraxisAuril we don’t believe it is simply a case of ‘transplanting’ our existing F2F programmes onto a digital platform. 

The quality learning experience that PrA provides requires a vibrant mix of information, interaction, and workshop learning and we know that to deliver this online requires a complete rethink of how each of the learning objectives can be achieved.  For example, we’ve found that smaller cohorts of delegates work best for online training so that we can actively facilitate effective group interactions and learning.  We also know that nobody can learn effectively by staring at a computer screen for three full days in a row, so you can expect that many of our digital programmes will be run over time, in smaller chunks, in future.

What training programmes are we planning?

We will be running both our entry level training courses (Fundamentals of Technology Transfer and Research Contracts) three times each in 2020/21 all with a maximum of 30 delegates: twice in live digital format and once, socially distanced, in F2F format. 

Other training programmes will be run live online from September 2020 and then in 2021 we will be offering a mix of live digital and F2F events, as soon as conditions allow.  We are also planning to offer some ‘offline’ training resources, for those who prefer individual study or perhaps to dip in and out of professional development at their leisure.

Finally, we have a new PraxisAuril KE leadership programme ready for delivery in 2021. This is designed for experienced practitioners taking a step up into senior management. This is a significant addition to our training programme and is perfectly timed to dovetail with development in the KE Concordat in particular.

Overall, 2021 is all about more flexibility and choice, digital and F2F options, making a broad range of PrA services, resources and events accessible to all. 

Community conference and events

Later this year we will host a mini virtual conference. This will be an opportunity for PrA members to showcase their work, highlight innovations in KE, and share learning about new working practices all in the context of the KE Concordat and Framework.

In June 2021, we plan to host a full hybrid (F2F/virtual) annual conference from Brighton.  Our conference venue will enable us to run a socially distanced F2F programme, as well as having many elements streamed live for virtual participants.  It’s possible that some of our digital training cohorts may have the opportunity to convene F2F in Brighton, the perfect follow-up to online delivery. And of course we will run our hugely popular KE Awards again in 2021 with a full ceremony streamed live from the conference.

On a slightly smaller scale, we will also be running two of our popular Directors’ Forum events in 2021 so that Heads of Office can get together to discuss issues that really matter to them in an open and supportive environment.

Calling all next generation expert volunteers and KE innovators!

As ever, we rely on the experience and enthusiasm of expert KE practitioners to guide, develop and deliver PrA programmes and services.  Volunteering is a brilliant personal development opportunity and we will support you all along the way.   

We have a fantastic group of volunteers but we need more of you to help deliver our hybrid programme in the future. We also want and need greater diversity of skills and experience. Whether you have specific KE skills or a broad range of experience we want to hear from you. You can get involved in a short task and finish project or sign up for an ongoing initiative to suit your availability.  Volunteering can be done remotely, as well as F2F. So if you’re enthusiastic about creating new initiatives that will support our KE sector then please do get in touch.

Come and help us at an exciting time for Knowledge Exchange around the globe – the future is in your hands!