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Research Office

Knowledge Exchange

Purposes of these web-pages

Durham University is committed to Knowledge Exchange and wishes to both encourage and facilitate a closer understanding and joint working between universities and external end-user organizations. These web pages have been created to provide information about Knowledge Exchange activities and to provide some case studies illustrating what has worked and why it has worked. You will also find advice concerning funding opportunities, guidance on impact plans for research grants, downloadable presentations concerned with Knowledge Exchange and links to a wide range of useful external websites and resources.

Central to our approach is the recognition that Knowledge Exchange activities require gatekeepers who sit at the academic-industry interface, individuals who can communicate the issues, identify the key researchers and translate the results thereby maximizing the impact. One such individual in Durham is Professor Bob Holdsworth, a NERC KE Fellow hosted jointly by the Institute for Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) and the Durham Energy Institute (DEI). He is responsible for the content of these pages.

Knowledge Exchange: what is it and why does it matter?

Universities are both generators and repositories of knowledge in our society and, as publically funded organisations, they have a duty to contribute that knowledge to the benefit of both the economy and society as a whole. This process, known as Knowledge Exchange - or Knowledge Transfer - is therefore a key output of academic research. It may occur through the training of postgraduate students who subsequently apply that knowledge in the public or private sector, or through direct engagement between the academics and public/private sector via collaborative or contract research, or through the exploitation of intellectual property through the creation of start-up companies.

More generally, universities are unique in their ability to proved 'public space', hosting and stimulating the development of knowledge networks. They are perfectly placed to influence the directions of research amongst users and suppliers of technology and fundamental researchers through their hosting of conferences, workshops, personnel exchanges and even through their alumni networks. The key common element is that information and expertise is exchanged with businesses, society and/or the economy.

These pages are intended for use by the academic community in the UK. Bob would very much value feedback on both their format and content and additional links and resources are also welcome.

Impact Action Plan

NERC has published an Impact Action Plan outlining its plans for knowledge exchange across the NERC community, and how NERC will achieve better impact from its science.


What do RCUK mean by ‘impact'?

Research Councils UK describe impact in the following ways... (click image above)