I have just returned from the annual KTP Managers’ Conference 2012 and the key message from the Technology Strategy Board is that now is the time to turn that conversation with a company into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. Knowledge Exchange allows you and the partner organisation to demonstrate and develop your research in the context of the market, to your mutual benefit. For the associate, who can be a named post doc., it also provides excellent project management experience.
Philip Ternouth presented his primary finding from the CIHE publication Key Attributes for Successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, that KTPs are a ‘value-adding’ mechanism for universities to form partnerships with industry. Importantly, in mapping the the KTP model onto their ‘Generic Process Model for KT in Open Innovation,’ the report shows that the KTP structure supports the vital ‘5Cs’: Company opportunity, Co-recognition, Co-formulation, Co-creation and Commercialisation. KTPs are also shown to assist in improving the absorptive capacity of the partner by potentially increasing the ability of firms and organisations to recognise the value of new external knowledge, assimilate it and apply it to commercial ends…Cohen and Levinthal (1990).
Iain Gray (CEO, TSB), reminded the conference that the TSB is there to promote wealth creation in the UK, but wealth and innovation can take many forms. Within the scheme’s boundaries, if the KTP proposal can demonstrate a step change for the organisation with a potential impact for the wider economy, be that in the truly commercial through to the social sectors, the TSB will consider its funding. Other funders, such as the ESRC and AHRC, are also on board, specifically requesting KTPs which meet their social agendas. Thus, the Technology Strategy Board values the impact made by all sectors of the economy.
If nothing else, take time to find out more about a funding scheme where submitted proposals have a c. 80% success rate at the approvals panel and can provide clear evidence of potential impact.
More information is available at the KTP website. BU has access to TSB advisers who can visit BU to talk to you and your colleagues about the benefits of KTPs and other TSB funding schemes. You can also sign up to the TSB site _connect and the Knowledge Transfer Networks related to your discipline. BU branded literature is available for BU staff to give to external contacts (email firstname.lastname@example.org). Yes, lots of help is on hand.
So, be ambitious and think KTP.