Knowledge Transfer Account - University of Sheffield

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Chemistry


The University of Sheffield's Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) programme is formulated around two work packages:1. Foundations for Success - this component includes a series of interventions that will deliver the essential infrastructure required to mine and develop commercial opportunities from within the Universitys EPSRC portfolio more thoroughly and faster than has previously been possible. It will include a management and delivery team; Sector Advisors; Concept funding; a Designer in Residence; innovation training; Knowledge Transfer Partnership funds; and a marketing and communication capability.2. Flagship Projects The Construction & Infrastructure; Recycling, Energy and Environment; and Retail & Consumer Product industries will form the early foci for four Flagship Projects. These will deliver a step change in the quality of university-business engagement; drive up the level of knowledge transfer activity arising from EPSRC research outputs; and enable a culture shift in the way in which knowledge transfer is perceived, valued and delivered. The Flagship projects include:a) The Virtual Corporate Laboratory (VCL) an exemplar programme to fuel the product pipelines of corporate partners; working on collaborative programmes to convert University R into company focused D. The VCL will work with companies that do not have either the financial resources or the expertise and infrastructure to go far enough from market to fill their product pipeline with the research and development needed to deliver product innovations. b) A Development Hot-House this element of the business case will provide dedicated, flexible, secure laboratory space for collaborative exploitation projects delivered to industrial research standards. Working in tandem with the Virtual Corporate Laboratory, the Hot-House will help to overcome the common barriers associated with undertaking commercial work on academic premises, for example the perceived potential for intellectual property leakage in laboratories hosting multiple projects and the need for facilities to meet the specific quality standards required by industry.c) The Industrial Research Fellowship Scheme a high-level fellowship programme to facilitate the transfer of senior academic staff into industry and vice versa that will seek to change value perceptions associated with this type of movement. The Senior Industrial Research Fellowship Scheme will be complemented with a parallel scheme for early career academics.d) Made in Sheffield this programme of activity is devoted to the use of multimedia to revolutionise the communication of commercial opportunities from EPSRC research programmes to end-users and to challenge the way academic colleagues view and promote their research outputs beyond academia.The Flagship Projects will initially focus on particular sectors where there is a nationally recognised productivity/research and development gap for the UK, namely the Construction & Infrastructure; Recycling, Energy and Environment; and Retail & Consumer Product industries, and where we have identified a direct fit with opportunities for commercial exploitation based on our research strengths. These have been tested through dialogue with partner companies with whom we have been developing the business case and early commercial project opportunities. The two inter-related work packages build directly on the research and knowledge transfer strengths of the University. The business case places strong emphasis on our belief that the point of contact between the academic researcher and the end user is critical to effective knowledge transfer and the KTA is targeted at strengthening and facilitating these interactions, removing potential barriers and addressing identified gaps.


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