Tagged / knowledge exchange

Research and development funding announced for SMEs

Smart competition flyer

Research and development funding announced for SMEs

Smart is a grant scheme which offers funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. The next round opens on 17 July (and closes) 25 September with funding available from £25k to £250K.

Three types of grant are available:

  • Proof of market
  • Proof of concept
  • Development of prototype

For more information on this grant click here:

If you wish to consider developing an application for the grant – help is available. Please contact Jayne Codling   – Knowledge Exchange Officer, R&KEO for further information.

Introducing the Fast Track Status – application process now open!

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.

Please refer to the Fast Track Status policy document for greater detail of the Fast Track status and guidance on completing the application form.

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:

Time estimate Description Dates
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 jgarrad@bournemouth.ac.uk.

If you have any queries then please contact Jo Garrad at jgarrad@bournemouth.ac.uk.

ESRC knowledge exchange funding to change

ESRC is to change the way in which it allocates funding for knowledge exchange activities. The current knowledge exchange opportunities scheme provides funding for social scientists to undertake a range of activities with non-academic stakeholders and requires 50% contribution from a partner in the user community. It is open to any social scientist to undertake knowledge exchange based on their research, whether funded by ESRC or not. This scheme will close on 31 March 2014.
From summer 2014, a replacement scheme (Impact Acceleration Accounts) will fund knowledge exchange through a block grant allocated according to institutions’ recent ESRC funding. Those institutions allocated funding will then be required to submit a business plan in order to release the money.
BU has not been allocated funding through the Impact Acceleration Accounts, so if you are a social scientist and hope to undertake funded knowledge activities, start planning your application now for submission by March… Further information can be found at http://www.esrc.ac.uk/collaboration/knowledge-exchange/opportunities/index.aspx.

How can you use your research to build partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the Creative Economy?

The AHRC has committed to ensuring that the research it funds can be properly exploited and applied in areas where it can make a difference.  In particular, the AHRC’s new delivery plan puts KE, external engagement, collaboration, partnership working, public and policy engagement and impact at the very heart of all that it does.

The AHRC has made a huge investment of £20m fEC to establish four ‘Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy’ over the next 4 years. The purpose of these hubs will be to build new partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the ‘Creative Economy’ and in addition increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.

Take advantage of this investment  and look at how you can engage with the creative economy; perhaps through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)?  An excellent example of knowledge exchange, KTPs are run by the Technology Strategy Board and are co-funded by a range of bodies such as the AHRC.

KTPs provide academics with the opportunity to:

  • Apply knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses
  • Develop relevant teaching and research material
  • Identify new research themes and undergraduate and post graduate projects
  • Publish high quality journal and conference papers
  • Gain an improved understanding of business requirements and operations
  • Contribute to the (REF)
  • Participate in rewarding and ongoing collaboration with innovative businesses
  • Supervise and act as mentors for past graduates working on business based projects

Why not consider the benefits of knowledge exchange and use your research to move forward in building partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity in the creative economy……

Successful knowledge engagement events encourage more businesses to work with BU!

There are a variety of funded initiatives on offer to help businesses develop and grow, but many are not aware of these offers, or just how much BU can help them with their development.

This is why we felt it was important to organise the recent KTP and SMART award events, to help promote and encourage businesses to take advantage of the expertise BU has to offer.

Both events were well attended by businesses and academics wanting to find out more on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, SMART Awards and Innovation Vouchers.  The feedback was extremely positive from all those who attended, and as a result a number of meetings have been arranged with businesses who are keen to discuss how BU can help them develop!

It was fantastic to receive such positive feedback; one business owner was particularly impressed and commented:

“I go to quite a few so called “Business Events” that serve little purpose, so I approached today’s event at BU a little circumspect.  Now I can say that this morning I have attended the best business focused event in my recent experience.  Extremely informative, very professionally managed and a great breakfast.  A big thank you for showing the way that Academia and business can and should complement each other.”

 Roger Allen  – Managing Director, Zeta Commerce Ltd

 

Should you wish to find out more on how businesses can benefit from any of the funded initiatives spoken about at the events, please contact Lucy Rossiter, email or call  01202 961215.

Erasmus Mundus mobility to South Caucasus region and Ukraine for students and staff available now! -Deadline 28th February-

BU students and staff have been invited by Georg-August Universität Göttingen to apply for mobility at ALRAKIS II.

ALRAKIS II is one of the awarded Erasmus Mundus action 2 projects that promotes exchange mobility in the South Caucasus region and Ukraine. The beneficiary countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine. Our students and staff would be looking at applying at Target Group 2.

For more information please visit the project website and if you have any queries please contact Eva Papadopoulou at epapadopoulou@bournemouth.ac.uk and 01202 968252

Please note that the deadline for this is 28th February 2013.

Arts and Humanities Research Council – KTP Funding Criteria

KTP diagramThe AHRC has announced that it will support Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) projects in which knowledge, skills and/or technology/technologies arising from arts and humanities research are transferred to businesses and other sectors within the UK. These can range from commercial to, not for profit, charity, and publicly funded organisations.
Project subjects which qualify for funding consideration include law, archaeology, journalism, and media and communication studies, artistic design and media.
The funding is focussed on meeting the needs of small/medium sized organisations.
A KTP project can last from 26 weeks to 3 years. The funding pays for a full time post-graduate and 1/2 a day per week of an academic supervisor’s time. Projects need to be co-funded by an organisation from any of the sectors listed above. For small/medium sized organisations their contribution to the funding costs is approximately £308 per week.
If you require any further information on this post or KTPs in general please contact Peter Delgado, Commercialisation and KTP Officer, e-mail – pdelgado@bournemouth.ac.uk

ISBE and ESRC announce call for Research and Knowledge Exchange Fund

Exploring knowledge exchange and transfer processes and possibilities for SME internationalisation

The Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Research and Knowledge Exchange (RAKE) fund is an initiative supported by Barclays Bank and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) administered through ISBE.  This initiative aims to encourage and support research activities from academics, third sector organisations, consultants and practitioners with the ambition of drawing together and generating an entrepreneurial community of practice to facilitate knowledge exchange and transfer.

Applications are invited from individuals or teams. Collaborative bids which draw together any combination of third sector organisations, academic researchers, consultants and practitioners are welcome. The Principal Investigator must be employed within a UK institution but may be partnered with an international team. Research teams which demonstrate capacity building through collaborations between experienced and early career academics would be favourably considered; applications which demonstrate ‘in-kind’ contributions from partner organisations are welcomed as are those jointly funded from other sources.  Applications presented as pilot studies, with the aim of generating future funding from other sources, are encouraged. As such, we wish to promote engagement with all who have an interest or stake in generating further insight and understanding into contemporary entrepreneurial activities, behaviours and practices.  For the 2012 call for applications, a number of critical themes have been identified which are of contemporary interest and offer potential to develop knowledge exchange and transfer links.

Exploring processes and possibilities of SME internationalisation

There is a growing focus and interest upon the process of small firm internationalisation which includes ‘born globals’ and those firms tentatively seeking export opportunities.  Axiomatically, smaller firms face a range of challenges related to resource accrual and management when entering international markets. However, a recent survey by UKTI found that the proportion of small UK firms exporting has increased by 10 percent since 2004. In addition, UKTI are actively supporting SME internationalisation on the basis that exporting firms are more productive and innovative, have greater resilient during economic down turns and exhibit lower failure rates than those firms focussed upon local markets.  It would appear that internationalisation is an attractive option for SMEs in terms of potential returns but developing appropriate contacts, networks, resources, managerial capabilities and strategic partnerships is challenging.  Accordingly, we invite proposals which investigate and analyse any aspect of the SME internationalisation process and specifically, any knowledge exchange and transfer issues.  A potential but not exhaustive list of suggestions would include:

• Strategies to overcome barriers to the internationalization process for UK SMEs
• Developing capacity and dynamic capabilities through national and international partnerships between SMEs but also between SMEs and corporate firms
• Evaluations of policy support structures to encourage internationalization – exploring the opportunities of working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS), Chambers of Commerce and specific industry support groups
• Regional SME support for developing internalization strategies focused on specific sectors and value added industries
• Enhancing networks and information exchange possibilities between potential export firms and international partners
• Gaining knowledge of and tapping into potential new markets in developing economies
• Using networks and contacts to facilitate the export process

Attention is drawn to the current Business Engagement Strategy of the ESRC which embraces three broad priorities any of which can be mapped onto and integrated with the themes outlined above:

•    Economic Performance and Sustainable Growth
•    Influencing Behaviour and Informing Interventions
•    A Vibrant and Fair Society

Clearly, the contribution of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity can be mapped onto these priorities.  Thus, applications which indicate their relevance to these issues would be welcomed.  Despite any distinctive focus, it is emphasised that all proposals must clearly demonstrate and describe relevance to the notion of knowledge transfer and exchange related to the context of the bid.

For this round of funding, they envisage awarding a number of separate grants of around £10,000 – £12,000 each.  These will not support full economic costing given ISBE’s position as a registered charity. Applications for smaller, seed corn funds would not be discounted however, bids of over £12,000 will not be considered.

Successful grant holders will be required to fulfil the following conditions:
• To be in membership of ISBE for the duration of the award
• To present their work at the annual ISBE conference
• To make findings available to the ESRC’s business channel on ESRC Society Today (EST)
• To produce a satisfactory end of award report within three months of the completion of the research
• To recognise the ISBE RAKE fund in any presentations or publications arising from an award
• To report to the RAKE fund management board to discuss research progress

Further details on the aims and constitution of the ISBE RAKE fund can be found at: www.isbe.org.uk/rakefund

The closing date for applications is 5 p.m. Friday 15th June 2012 with notifications of awards given by mid September. It is suggested that the earliest starting date for research projects should be 1st October 2012.

Completed applications may be returned electronically to Chris Rolles at chris@isbe.org.uk To download an electronic application form please click here Please submit applications in MSWord format – not as a PDF file. This enables anonymisation of proposals.

Applicants may contact the following ISBE board members and staff for informal discussions regarding their bids and/or the aims of RAKE:

Professor Susan Marlow s.marlow@bham.ac.uk VP: Research ISBE: RAKE Fund Manager.
Professor Lynn Marting l.martin@mmu.ac.uk ISBE President
Dr Maura McAdam m.mcadam@qub.ac.uk Board Member
Professor Gerard McElwee gerard.mcelwee@ntu.ac.uk Board Member
Professor Dean Patton dpatton@bournemouth.ac.uk Treasurer: ISBE
Lorraine Reese lorraine@isbe .org.uk Business and Events Manager: ISBE

 The RKE Operations team can help you with your application.

Key Points from April University Research and Knowledge Exchange Forum

The latest meeting of the University Research and Knowledge Exchange Forum (URKEF) was held on 23 April.  A summary of the key points is given below.

Update on key EIS projects:

  • The Publications Management System aka BRIAN (Bournemouth Research, Information and Networking) will be fully launched on 22nd June.  More details of BRIAN will be published soon.
  • Collaboration Tools for Academics – blogs, wikis and web cloud to go live at the end of April.
  • PGR Monitoring System – contract negotiations are underway and an implementation approach to be agreed with the supplier, Aveda.
  • pFACT – interface testing taking place.

 

Erasmus Mundus – the scheme involves students and staff increasing their European mobility.  The paper sought approval for R&KEO to formally take over the management of Erasmus Mundus for BU, which was endorsed.  More information on the scheme can be found in the link above.

Internal process for calls with institutional quotas – the proposed process is for when external funders use quotas, have limited awards available, or require an institutional self-sift prior to submission for their calls.  The current process is adhoc and so a more formal process of academics registering their interest in a call and submitting an outline proposal, internal peer review, PVC decision, and then support provided by the RDO will lead to better management and resource of staff expectations and the best applications going forward. The process was endorsed.

Grants Academythis was launched last month and the first training session will take place on 9-10th May with 15 BU staff taking part. The Media School will pilot strand two.  There was discussion around bespoke training sessions, which was encouraged.

Fusion Investment FundFIF was launched last week and there are three key strands available to staff: staff mobility and networking, co-production and co-creation, and study leave, all of which will stimulate student education, research and professional practice and have huge potential.  Individual grants will be awarded between £5-75k (depending on the strand), and £3M is available in total per annum for the first three years. The fund is merit based and underpins a competitive spirit in order to create upskilling and so excellent applications will need to be put forward. Where Schools have funds for pump priming research, the requests can be far greater than the School can afford. Paring budgets down means that more can be afforded and double-counting is avoided.

RKE Ops meetings with Schools – Major funders run Early Career Researcher schemes and often require a statement from the School outlining how a proposed project fits within the institutional/ School research, career development and knowledge transfer strategies.  RKE Ops have been raising awareness of this with the Schools as the letters indicating support are a really important part of the selection process, and require considerable thought and development.  Recent feedback from ESRC highlighted several areas where BU could improve on.  There are BU wide schemes that will feed into this such as the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and the Grants Academy, which will help to develop bid writing skills and provide mentoring for successful projects, which will be mentioned at future meetings.

HEIF-5 update – Funding had been agreed with HSC to support their dementia theme (BU Dementia Institute).  Also, the Media School theme (Soho on Sea) staff are going to LA soon to visit Pixar and other major animation companies.  It was emphasised that BU are always looking for investment strategies, innovation and themes and Schools were encouraged to come forward and discuss ideas and see what could be done for them.

Report on Exchange Visit to Yale University

Earlier this year Ivis Chan, a PhD student from the School of Applied Sciences, was awarded a Santander Scholarship to visit Yale University. Here she talks about the benefits of the visit to her research…

I am a postgraduate researcher in the School of Applied Sciences at Bournemouth University, supervised by Professor Adrian Newton and Dr. Duncan Golicher. My research focuses on defining patterns of tree species diversity that can be used to inform conservation planning within Central America. This species-rich region harbours many species not found elsewhere in the world, including endemic primates, birds and plants. The region’s growing population and widespread poverty mean it is an area of highly competing land use interests. It is therefore important to identify and prioritize areas with unique groups of species for conservation efforts.

In January and February, I visited Professor Walter Jetz’s lab at Yale University. The purpose of my visit was to start collaborating with Dr. Dan Rosauer (a post-doc in the Jetz lab) to develop a method for identifying areas containing unique groups of tree species. During my visit, I received training in the specific method and software which I will implement during my research.

In addition, I had the opportunity to participate in graduate seminar discussions led by Professor Jetz on hotly-debated ecological topics such as “niche conservatism” and the “heritability of species range sizes.” Chatting with members of the Jetz lab over many pad thai lunches was also a great learning experience, as I heard about their various research projects and discussed options for tackling some of the challenges in my own research.

As an added bonus, I also had the opportunity to attend a conference on Landscape-Scale Restoration in the Tropics organized by the International Society of Tropical Foresters. This was a great opportunity to network and to learn about research prospects in forest restoration in tropical areas around the world, including my study region.

This exchange visit was a very rewarding experience for me and I would encourage others to take advantage of such opportunities. This partnership started with a simple exchange of email communication. It is therefore important that researchers are encouraged and enabled to build collaborations as this fosters the exchange of ideas that knowledge is built on. The Santander grant offers a good chance for researchers to put their collaborative ideas into action.

Many thanks to the Santander grant for sponsoring me. Thanks to the BU Research Development Unit and Applied Sciences Administration Office for helping me to coordinate the details. Finally, thanks especially to Professor Jetz and the members of his lab, especially Dr. Dan Rosauer, for welcoming me and sharing their expertise.

Praxis Unico Impact Awards 2012

The Impact Awards, organised by PraxisUnico, recognise and celebrate the success of collaborative working and the process of transferring knowledge and expertise beyond higher education, charities and public sector research establishments for the wider benefit of society and the economy.

2012 Award Categories
Business Impact – Achieved
This award recognises projects that have made an outstanding business impact through successful knowledge transfer, where the impact can be quantified and measured.
Business Impact – Aspiring
This award recognises projects that promise to make an outstanding business impact through successful knowledge transfer, but where the impact may be currently latent or unquantifiable.
Collaborative Impact
This award recognises collaborative projects that leverage the intellectual assets of the research base. Types of projects might include research collaborations or consultancy with business or the public sector and/or knowledge transfer projects involving more than one higher education or research institute.
KT Achiever of the Year
This award recognises an individual, who has not more than five years’ experience in a technology/knowledge transfer role.

Deadline – 30 March 2012

For further information visit the Impact Awards website.

If you’re interested in submitting to the Awards, let me know and we will support you with your application.

ESRC Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Scheme

The new Knowledge Exchange Opportunities Scheme opens today until the 07th February 2012.

This scheme provides researchers with a great opportunity to engage with organisations in the private, public and civil society sector(s) on a social science issue.

The KE Opportunities Scheme now covers activities at all stages of the research process; from setting up networks to help inform the first stages of research; to the development of activities designed to apply previous research to policy and practice issues (previously covered by the ESRC Follow on Fund Scheme).

Please note this is a collaborative scheme and, as such, all applications must include at least 25% co-funding from partner(s) in the user community (depending on the sector involved). For further details, including how to apply, please visit the website:

http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/collaboration/knowledge-exchange/opportunities/index.aspx

There have been a number of changes to this call from previous ESRC Knowledge Exchange calls.  For this reason, please ensure you have read the guidance notes carefully before submitting your proposal.

Please contact RKE Ops as soon as possible if you are considering applying to the scheme – they can help you with costings, school approval and using the JeS system to prepare your application.

We also have RPRS – the internal peer review scheme which you can use to obtain comments from our academic staff on your draft application.

Find out how BU research is helping councils improve the delivery of the Olympics and Paralympics

Watch this excellent short video from BU’s Dr Richard Shipway who discusses the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and how his research has been used by local councils to improve the delivery of the games in the area.

To see other BU videos on YouTube go to the BU YouTube page!

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy_B4Nbzvv4

Want to find out more about Knowledge Exchange and how to engage with business?

The Enterprise Training Programme is an established training scheme for researchers from any university wanting to learn more about business and the commercialisation of research.

The training consists of four modules (two days each) which will be running in Birmingham from January to March 2012. We cover the essentials of business (strategy, organisation, marketing, finance and business planning), skills training (negotiation and networking) and intellectual property protection and exploitation.

In addition, delegates have an opportunity to socialise and build networks with other entrepreneurially minded academics from a range of other institutions.

The training will be delivered by a mixture of academics and practitioners and will involve lecture style and interactive case study sessions.

For further information or to express your interest in taking part in this programme please contact Catherine Mansell, Programme Director on 0121 414 4905, c.mansell@bham.ac.uk

The RDU has funding available for BU academics to attend this course. If you’re interested, contact me (jnortham@bournemouth.ac.uk) to discuss this further.

It takes two to tango…

Having only recently completed a grant application for the ESRC’s Knowledge Exchange programme, the challenges of finding and then keeping suitable partners with whom to “tango” is fresh in my mind. One of the primary challenges is the ability to explain in plain English to prospective business partners what Funder terminology actually means. There then follows the need to explain what lies behind the potential award of funding, before then having to clarify full economic costing (never an easy task at the best of times) and associated acronyms that mystify all those outside (and some inside) academia. Thereafter comes the rigour and intimate detail of the application form which baffles most businesses (especially those seeking KTPs) followed by an explanation of the demands of the post-award reporting requirements.

All in all, much of this is straightforward …. to us!! For business partners, however, it often represents a whole new and somewhat mysterious world that if not careful in your articulation of what it all means, may result in the loss of your partner at any time throughout the completion of the application. In addition to a very clear explanation of what the process of bidding entails, those businesses most likely to dance with you are those that you know very well. Very few businesses (probably understandably) enter into such bids from a cold call so building long-term, sustainable two-way partnerships early in your career is pivotal to bidding in later years when you are less nervous about asking for that dance…

Brewery Investing in its Future

Hall and Woodhouse brewery, famous for its ‘Badger’ award winning beers, has agreed to a second cohort of students to complete the ‘Business and Hospitality Management’ accredited Higher Education course at Bournemouth University. This development arose from engagement between business development staff in the School of Tourism and the HR team at the company.

Company Managers recognised that investing in its people was critical to beat the recession and ensure that the business is well managed and providing the best experience for its customer base. However, they could not find the right level of education, training and support to upskill its existing workforce and were looking for options tailored to their distinct needs.

In order to develop a bespoke Higher Education degree programme for the company, the Hall and Woodhouse HR team, working in conjunction with Keith Hayman (Head of CPD for the School), has invested significant commitment and resources. Keith has used his vast experience to identify skill gaps within the company and has created a bespoke course for its employees. The course is delivered at times that suit the management level students and includes elements of Marketing, HR and Financial Reporting to ensure effective management; and a motivated workforce throughout the chain.

In addition to the new cohort commencing next month, the first cohort progresses to Foundation Degree in March 2012. Once completed, recipients will receive a BA (Hons) degree.

HEIF-5 strategy approved by HEFCE

I am delighted to share with you the news that BU’s HEIF-5 Strategy was approved by HEFCE at the end of last week securing institutional investment for Knowledge Exchange for the next four years.  In broad terms this is worth around £700k per year in funding.  The strategy was submitted to HEFCE back in July and set out our approach to Knowledge Exchange (formerly referred as enterprise) activity within BU.  Outlined below are the key elements of our new HEIF strategy.  We will be developing the concepts and ideas further within the Fusion Strategy currently being developed.

The aim of the strategy is: to support Knowledge Exchange (KE) that enhances regional/national economic growth while strengthening Bournemouth University’s (BU’s) core business of research and education. At the heart of BU’s new Vision & Values launched July 2011 is the concept of fusion, in which education, research and professional engagement create a distinctive academic proposition in which the sum is greater than the component parts.  It is based on a mutual exchange of ideas with business, is grounded in our research and educational strengths and will drive both regional and national economic growth.  Previously KE (enterprise) has emphasised the revenue stream rather than the inflow of information, in terms of market and commercial intelligence, which is more aligned to our core business.  As a consequence KE has failed to gain widespread traction with staff and growth has been modest.  As part of our new strategy we seek a step change in performance starting with a fundamental change in culture and approach linked to our new Vision & Values that will make BU one of the most trusted knowledge brokers on the south coast driving economic growth and entrepreneurship in selected economic sectors.

Previous Approach (HEIF-4) – Revenue was invested in central infrastructure around innovation & commercialisation, employer engagement, entrepreneurship, and consultancy.  A feature of our investment plan was a fund to pump-prime activity across the entire academic footprint.  Thirty projects were funded and while many have been successful, stimulating valuable business interaction, the lack of strategic focus prevented rapid growth.  Investment returns from commercialisation have been modest.  Areas of strength lie in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) around Health, Engineering and Media where bespoke products have been developed for large organisations (e.g., NHS, Airbus, BBC & MoD). Applied research and consultancy is strong, but exposed to risk being linked to a limited number of clients. Since 2007 an average of 8 Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) schemes per year have generated £640k.  We need to: (1) be more focused, investing not in routine KE activity but in real innovation; (2) capitalise on existing strength in employer engagement; (3) focus on value gained rather than on income derived; (4) focus on, and expand, our key client base building lasting relationships; and (5) disinvest in commercialisation to focus on our strengths in applied research, consultancy and CPD. .

 

Our New Strategy – Best practice in the sector suggests that empowering academics to engage with KE directly through business consultants, minimising expenditure on central support and maximising targeted investment are keys to success.  Central to the new approach is a move away from ‘enterprise’ to ‘knowledge exchange’ where the emphasis is less no longer simply on income derived but value gained from the exchange of knowledge with industry or business.  The true value is the benefit to our core business of research and education.  Our HEIF strategy also distinguishes ‘business as usual’ activity (low-risk) undertaken and funded in all academic Schools from ‘innovation’ (high-risk) to be funded institutionally by HEIF through targeted investment in key themes.

We will create a Business Engagement Unit to coordinate this activity and provide a one stop-portal ensuring continuity in areas of existing success and investment.  We will invest in key innovation themes focused around the creation of networks and also in a modest ‘fusion fund’ to support all innovative ideas.  The Fusion Fund was launched at the start of September via the BU Research Blog (Launch of the BU Fusion Fund).  Outlined below are the five innovation themes to be funded this year (Year One), a further two themes will follow in subsequent years for which there will be an open call to seek the best ideas.

  • Create an International Hub for Visual Film Effects (VFX) based on institutional and industry collaboration, levered from our ‘world class’ research (RAE; 2008 – 70% >3*, GPA 2.85) and our outstanding educational reputation evidenced by the 2010 NESTA report which stated that almost half of the UK VFX industry are BU Graduates. Why? Because the UK has an excellent reputation for VFX and the SW has the second largest Creative Industries sector outside London. The VFX industry is strategically important to the future of film in the UK. VFX was a significant lure for the £575 million of inward film investment in 2010 and is the fastest growing component of the industry growing revenue by 16.8% and its workforce by 16.4% (2006-08). Unlike other creative industry sectors, animation has modelled successful centres of excellence outside London. We have the opportunity to create an international hub for VFX creating jobs, driving economic growth and entrepreneurship on the South Coast while also enhancing BU’s research and education activities. How? By establishing, in collaboration with The Arts University College at Bournemouth, an international VFX Festival; offering office space for VFX firms; by building a training, production and consultancy service; and by linking with the DM Centre for Entrepreneurship.
  • Host an international programme of Design Sandpits for Prosthetic/Medical Engineering using our reputation in medical devices (evidenced by EPSRC grants with industrial partners – prosthetics & strokes; RAE-2008 40% >3* GPA 2.1) to draw in researchers to work with the UK’s leading manufacturers and BU’s visiting faculty of medical practitioners to tackle key design challenges.  Why? Over 25% of all prosthesis users do not use their artificial limbs due to discomfort; the lack of science in their design and fitting is the primary cause. In the UK alone there are around 60,000 below knee amputees. Simple medical devices can help stroke victims of which there are 150,000 each year in the UK with 450,000 severely disabled. The demand for effective medical devices is clear. Within our sub-region we have a number of major manufacturers of medical devices (e.g. Ossur, Otto Bock, Ohio Willow, Dorset Orthopaedics, & Blatchford) who will benefit via international exposure. How? Via sandpits which are intensive multidisciplinary forums which facilitate collaboration between academics, industry and other stakeholders undertaking analysis of pertinent issues, encouraging innovative problem solving that fosters future collaboration.
  • Launch the first National Tourism Business Academy (NTBA) in collaboration with Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Management Boards, the New Forest Tourism Association, and relevant local authorities. The NTBA will accelerate tourism business growth by focusing on visitor experience, ‘state of the art’ research & development, and the creation of a knowledge exchange for all stakeholders. Why? Tourism is a key sub-region industry. Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest collectively attract 2.32 million staying and 12.9 million day visitors per annum, generating £1035 million for their local economies and employing 20,400 people. How? The NTBA will be driven by successful private businesses, informed and guided by leading international tourism academics at BU, and supported by experienced destination management professionals and private-public partnerships in an outstanding coastal resort (Bournemouth) serving as a ‘learning laboratory’. This will be achieved, first regionally and then nationally, via blended learning to support tourism businesses, professional mentoring networks, workshops to improve local business performance and building the foundations for a national tourism business resource by 2014.
  • Create a Science & Technology Hub (STH) with a focus on Environmental Biotechnology, built on BU’s research excellence in Environmental Science (RAE-2008 45% >3* GPA 2.35), collaborative partnerships with businesses in the SW and by targeting EU development funds. Why? The UK’s Department of Trade and Industry estimated that 15-20% of the global environmental market in 2001 was biotech-based amounting to $250-300 billion US per year with projected ten-fold growth over the next five years. In the SW the environmental industry already contributes £220 million but growth is limited by the availability of skills and facilitates. How? Our aim is to first build a SW Science & Technology network focused on an Environmental Science & Technology Festival, providing a showcase for the SW, building capacity and networks to allow us to lever EU funding to develop a regional laboratory network for business and enhance the regional skills base to use it. For example, the SW is the only English region to qualify for convergence, competitiveness and employment funding (Operational Programme 2007-13) and the Competitiveness Programme is Priority 1, focused on knowledge transfer, with £3 million still uncommitted for projects.
  • BU appointed a Chair in Entrepreneurship in 2011 with support from the entrepreneur Dominic Marrocco as part of its commitment to create a Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE) which aims to provide business development support and create an entrepreneurial ecosystem within the region. Why? Business creation and acceleration is a key objective of the Dorset LEP (See: Question Two). How? It will target sectors associated with creative and environmental industries and focus on the incubation of new ventures, the business acceleration of established firms and the creation of a community of practice, around these sectors, that fosters innovation. The Dominic Marrocco CfE will have a positive effect upon the regional eco-system, promote University/industry interaction, enhance curricular and create opportunities for applied research.

The above themes are identified as core to delivering a step change in BU’s KE performance, are identified for front loaded investment and will deliver maximum return as measured by income, regional/national economic growth, and value to our core business of research and education. We will continue to invest concurrently using BU Funds in our ‘business as usual’ activities in health, media, environmental science, market research, and business management.

Future information and news regarding the HEIF strategy will be published via the Blog.

You can access the BU Vision & Values website here: http://2018.bournemouth.ac.uk/