22 Nov 2019
Kala Kennedy, Knowledge Exchange Facilitator at Cranfield University, reflects on the second meeting of the KE Best Practice Group (KE BPG). The KE BPG was set up to provide support for KE professionals to discuss roles and responsibilities and exchange advice on some of the issues encountered day-to-day.
On the 5th November, we held the second meeting of the Knowledge Exchange Best Practice Group (KE BPG). It is fantastic that, in some cases, there were new faces from universities represented at the first meeting; it is great that information about the KE BPG is being shared by members with colleagues at their own institutions, and expanding the Group’s network. There were also colleagues from operational and strategic levels, which allowed for the Group to hear and understand the view points and experiences of those in roles across the spectrum.
21 Nov 2019
PraxisAuril and the National Centre for Universities and Business, (NCUB) have a lot in common in both supporting the UK’s big ambitions for R&D investment and knowing that partnerships between UK universities and business are key to addressing the challenges facing society and industry today.
The UK has many successful academic industrial partnerships to celebrate and PraxisAuril members are clearly leaders in good practice in this. But if we want to raise the UK’s R&D investment to the OECD average then we need to do more. Successes should be celebrated and news of the great work that is happening across the UK should be more widely shared to inspire growth in the relatively small number of companies making up the lion’s share of R&D spend in the UK. Only around 12% of firms that are ‘innovating’ currently cooperate with a university, and we are all working hard to grow this proportion to supercharge innovation throughout the UK.
8 Nov 2019
Like many other research-intensive universities, Oxford yields hundreds of new inventions every year. This provides the substrate for one of the key aspects of our activity at OUI – the management and commercialisation of IP arising from research. While we don’t take forward every new idea that crosses our threshold – and there are various reasons why we might decide that a project is not supportable – we proceed each year to file in excess of 100 new patent applications, and support plenty of non-patentable IP such as copyright in software source code and health outcomes questionnaires.
7 Nov 2019
Earlier this year I reflected on the 2017-18 HE-BCI data published by HESA; mentioning the step forward in terms of its presentation as an Open Data set and the bonus FAQs for the more straightforward queries. But I also pointed out how the data can reveal the unexpected and how it is hard to understand the real dynamics, or stories, behind the data sets. In particular, I noted that although the data provides an important snapshot of university knowledge exchange (KE), it’s increasingly recognised that data for KE needs to be more diverse in order to provide a better understanding of KE dynamics within research organisations and with their collaborators. So, as many of our members consider how to respond to the current HESA consultation on the HEBCI data, we thought we would republish the article (see below). You can find similar thoughts in the SpinoutsUK Quarterly Journal June 2019 by OUI's Adam Stotten, who delves into the 'HEBCI fruit basket'.
The HESA consultation closes on Wednesday 11th December, full details available on the website.
31 Oct 2019
In recent years many companies have expanded their open innovation initiatives, with universities capturing the spotlight as an invaluable source of new technologies and game-changing breakthroughs. However, as part of a global web of science and innovation, it can be difficult for academics to get their research in front of the right people in industry. Attracting interest from relevant research and development (R&D) professionals, who often have limited time to evaluate each academic discovery that lands on their desk, is a challenge. Effectively communicating science to industry is crucial to the successful commercialisation of university research.
28 Oct 2019
Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore announced a £10 million competition to help boost the benefits to students of getting involved in knowledge exchange activities.
The joint call, by the Office for Students (OfS) and Research England, will support a range of projects exploring how students benefit from involvement in knowledge exchange – the work universities do to share their knowledge and skills outside of the academic community for the benefit of society and the economy.
University knowledge exchange is a success story. It covers a range of activity: partnerships with businesses, engagement with communities and third sector organisations, and professional training. In 2017-18, English universities generated over £3.7 billion from knowledge exchange activity. As part of this, they helped to create over 3,500 graduate start-up businesses, attracting over £146 million of investment.