In an attempt to sharpen the response time of some of our knowledge exchange activities, a new process is to be introduced . During the last 18 months feedback from academics engaged with BU’s knowledge exchange (KE) vehicles suggests that our RKE processes do not always provide the speed and flexibility to operate effectively within a commercial environment. In light of this feedback and under the direction of Professor Bennett, the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) has worked with academics to review the current processes and, in collaboration with Legal Services, have drafted a series of recommendations. These measures should enable those with a proven track record for KE activity to have greater autonomy and empower them to negotiate and close deals with clients in a more flexible manner, thereby providing a more responsive service.
The new process, ‘Fast Track status’, allows for expedited procedures to operate (within selected KE units) thereby enabling them to operate in a more entrepreneurial manner. Fast Track status will be provided by application to KE units that request such status and subject to central audit by both RKE Operations and Legal Services to ensure that the processes are operating within agreed BU policies and the KE strategies of Schools.
All applications will require authorisation by the Dean of School/Faculty. If an application is successful, this signed form will act as the APF for all bids/projects from the individual/unit that meet the criteria agreed for Fast Track Status (e.g. individual KE projects under £25k (exclusions apply)). The application will seek confirmation that it aligns to the Schools KE strategy and this will need to be confirmed by the Dean. Recognising that the processes are there for good reason it is not appropriate to change them for all KE work. Instead it is recommended that special status be applied to certain individuals/units to allow them to operate under licence outside of some of these processes enabling a more entrepreneurial approach. To clarify, this status isn’t something that would be available to everyone and would only be awarded on the basis of set criteria against with units apply for such status (see the policy document for more information).
The timeline for implementation is shown below for information:
|Week 1||Fast Track Status call opens: RKE Ops advertise application process and notify interested parties.||13/1/14|
|Week 3||Application deadline.||31/1/14|
|Week 4||Collation and preparation of applications: RKE Ops collate applications and, together with Legal Services and Finance, provide input on the track record of applicants and ensure that BU’s charitable status is not impinged by such work (i.e. to ensure that the public benefit is clear) before forwarding documentation on to the PVC.||3/2/14 – 13/2/14|
|Week 6||Review of applications: PVC reviews applications and approves/ rejects; RKE Ops notify applicants of results.||13/2/14 – 21/2/14|
|Week 7||Drafting of standard contractual documentation and daily rates: Legal Services meet with successful applicants to agree contractual documentation required for activity; RKE Ops create competitive daily rates for each successful applicant.||24/2/14 – 14/3/14|
|Week 10||Fast Track Status operational||17/3/14|
The application process is now open. Please note that the closing date is 31 January 2014 and late submissions will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted by the Dean of School/Faculty to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any queries then please contact Jo Garrad at email@example.com.