ISSUES : Implementation Strategies for Sustainable Urban Environment Systems

Lead Research Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Department Name: Sch of the Built Environment


The ISSUES Project Team believes the KT-SUE project is a major opportunity to make an important bank of knowledge readily accessible and usable to a variety of end-users who are tackling the implementation of sustainable development. Academic research has a major roll to play in facilitating the evidence-base for such sustainable development activity, and this project will enable the SUE research to reach a targeted and influential audience and achieve an appropriate impact in sustainable development policy making and management.The ISSUES Project Team have structured their proposal to ensure that policy makers, practitioners and other interested parties will be able to access, learn about and make use of the knowledge that emerges from the 'Sustainable Urban Environments' (SUE) research conducted by the EPSRC SUE consortia. When enacted, the proposal will provide channels between researchers and end-users so that knowledge can flow both ways, and so that future SUE research is informed by the every day reality that sets the context for end-users. The key features of this proposal are as follows:1. An extremely high-calibre, experienced team with staff from both Heriot Watt and Cambridge Universities. The team spans all domain knowledge relevant to the project, and will bring substantial academic and industrial experience to the work. The project team will be led by Professor Paul Jowitt with support from Professor Peter Guthrie, both of whom have international reputations in the field of sustainable development.2. A robust, comprehensive coverage of the area, and an approach based on proven Knowledge Management tools used by leading professional institutions such as the Institution of Civil Engineers, and adapted to provide an exact fit for this project and for the KT-SUE consortia.3. A four-stranded methodology which includes:a. Assessing the current status and transferability of existing research and knowledge, and assessing the current ability of policy makers and other end-users to seek out and make use of such knowledge.b. Making links between researchers and practitioners so as to establish communication channels and 'knowledge communities'. Alongside this, a Knowledge Transfer implementation plan will be developed. c. Implementation of the programme of Knowledge Transfer activities, with input from industry and from communication experts as required. This will provide two-way communication between researchers and practitioners, to ensure that knowledge is transferred in both directions for the benefit of each group.d. Evaluation and assessment of the KT work carried out. In addition, the potential of different KT methods for use in ongoing EPSERC work will also be evaluated.4. The method will include a survey and assessment of existing KT methods as well as investigating and evaluating new and novel KT methods5. Strategic and effective use of personnel, so as to gain maximum value from each team member.6. This proposal has the support of a number of external consultancies and bodies, as well as the approval of our listed referees.7. Our approach will ensure that the value of the research work carried out by the KT-SUE consortia is understood, appreciated and used by practitioners and other end-users. In addition to the above points this proposal will provide lasting value for related future research funded by ESPRC. It will do this through the evaluation of the effectiveness of different KT methods for use with sustainability related research and practitioners. Findings from this project could then be used as a platform for any subsequent research into the most effective methods of knowledge transfer in this type of field.


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A. Moncaster (Author) (2010) Knowledge exchange between academia and industry in PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS-ENGINEERING SUSTAINABILITY

Description A better understanding of practitioner needs in relation to knowledge exchange:
-Different timescales (research taking years, while practitioners need results in months)
-Different media used by practitioners (e-bulletins and trade journals) and academics (results generally published in peer-reviewed academic journals that are not generally used by practitioners)
-KE was perceived to be highly dependent on personal networks and relationships. New information was commonly acquired by 'word of mouth', from colleagues, clients and contractors
-Corporate time pressures frequently prevented practitioners from engaging in research projects, or from attending events and seminars

A better understanding of the approach of knowledge exchange practitioners:
-Knowledge Exchange is highly personal, and personal contacts are the most effective route for dissemination
-Notwithstanding the above, word-of-mouth (including colleague to colleague, and client to consultant) is seen to be important in the uptake of new ideas and new areas of knowledge and work
-Research commissioned by a specific end-user group is more likely to be used than other research
-Contribution to expert advisory groups can be an effective means of KE for researchers
-Responding to consultations and enquiries, indicating the respondent's title and role in specific research can also be an effective means of KE
Exploitation Route Various organisations may use the findings to improve and tailor how they communicate their research on the sustainable urban environment to practitioners and policy makers in order to maximise its impact.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Energy,Environment

Description Findings have been used by academics to improve and enhance their knowledge exchange activities to maximise how the research on sustainable urban environment was communuicated to practitioners. This has resulted in a greater number and range of organisations finding out about the research and putting the recommendations into practice.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services