How can working with businesses help to develop research impact?

At the heart of impact is the process of knowledge exchange, which is very much a two-way process between you as the creator of a new piece of knowledge and your audience, who could use or benefit from what you know.

How you communicate that knowledge and to whom, will vary according to what your research is and the outcome you hope to achieve.  One route you could consider is working with businesses to develop you research impact.

What is business engagement?

Working with businesses and industry can be a very effective way of developing research impact.  By working in partnership, researchers can help to generate innovation, develop ideas for commercialisation and achieve economic and societal impact.  But, remember that knowledge exchange and sharing your ideas with businesses alone isn’t impact – it’s what happens as a consequence of those interactions that matters.

HEFCE defines this type of knowledge exchange as “the transferring or exchanging of knowledge with the aim of delivering external impact, such as improving products, services and profitability. This is linked with research and teaching, and includes consultancy and advisory work, the creation of intellectual property, the development of academic and student entrepreneurship, and a variety of other activities.”

How can you find out more about business engagement?

As part of BU’s week-long series of research impact events, RKEO are running two sessions around engaging with businesses, which you might like to sign up to.

On Monday afternoon, RKEO’s Knowledge Exchange Advisors, Rachel Clarke and Jayne Codling will be facilitating a session between BU’s researchers and local businesses on the topic of virtual and augmented reality.

On Tuesday, RKEO’s Research Facilitators will be hosting a ‘Smart Cities Sandpit’, where attendees will be working on the issue of how we link technology and services in key urban sectors in a smart way which will improve quality of life and the sustainability of our cities.