PraxisUnico/AURIL welcome the publication of ‘Transforming UK Translation’ by The Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust; the ambition it sets out to create a ‘vibrant translation system’ and the broad definition of translation used to cover a range of outputs and activities.
We are particularly pleased to see the recognition it gives to the role of TTOs and their role in supporting research translation. The UK operates at world class standard in technology transfer practice in an environment that supports continuous improvement of standards of practice.
Commitment 4 re-iterates a finding of the Dowling Review around short-term income generation. We would like to see more evidence gathered on this aspect. Technology transfer is a net cost to most research organisations which is why innovation funding such as HEIF is so vital. We have welcomed the recent uplift to HEIF for English universities and additional collaborative innovation funding made available via the Industrial Strategy. The McMillan Review (HEFCE, 2016) noted the importance of leadership in terms of understanding, interpreting and executing appropriate approaches to balancing impact and income from translation activities.
The commitments endorse the need for professional training and development across the system: for tech transfer professionals, academics and external partners. Awareness of this need is backed up by the continuing popularity of PraxisUnico training courses which have trained 4000 people to date from a range of research organisations, UK and internationally. Through bespoke and off-the shelf training we aim to ensure that skills and good practice are spread across the practitioner community and beyond. We actively engage with sector stakeholders to inform training and run successful industry facing events.
We hope that these commitments are the start of dialogue across the sector and look forward to having opportunities to contribute our members’ experience and expertise.
 ‘University Knowledge Exchange (KE) Framework: good practice in technology transfer’ Report to the UK higher education sector and HEFCE by the McMillan group, September 2016