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Personal reflections on Knowledge Transfer and changing UK research priorities

Hardill, Irene and Baines, Susan (2009) Personal reflections on Knowledge Transfer and changing UK research priorities. Twenty-first century society, 4 (1). pp. 83-96. ISSN 1745-0144

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Abstract

As advanced capitalist economies including the UK have moved from being resource-based to knowledge-based, national governments have seized upon knowledge and innovation produced in universities as drivers of economic growth, job creation and social development. Knowledge Transfer extends a university's mission beyond teaching and research and forms one element of third-stream activities, which are about the interactions between universities and the rest of society. For government, Knowledge Transfer is about the transfer of ideas, research results and skills directly from universities (and other research organisations) to business, government and the wider community. Many social scientists prefer less linear models that include notions of interaction, conversation and interpretation. In this paper we reflect upon how the innovative processes of Knowledge Transfer for the social sciences have been advanced by the actions of the UK's Research Council responsible for social science research. Drawing upon our own experience of undertaking projects within the Knowledge Transfer remit, we comment on sense-making and dialogue across the boundaries of academia and practice.

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