For a structured overview of the field of knowledge transfer, it helps to think in terms of
- in what forms knowledge can be carried (and transferred)
- through what channels or mechanisms knowledge transfer can take place
- how transferred knowledge is turned into benefits, and by whom
- what strategies are appropriate for different channels, and how PROs can organise their knowledge transfer activities.
Forms of knowledge
Major forms in which knowledge can be carried and hence transferred:
- as codified knowledge, expressed through language (including mathematics), for example as scientific literature or patents
- as internalised by people who have acquired codified knowledge and knowhow through study, instruction, and experience, for example graduates or experienced researchers leaving their institutions to work in an enterprise that they may (but need not) have set up themselves
- as embedded in artefacts more or less ‘ready to use’ such as machinery or software or new materials or modified organisms; often called ‘technology’.
Channels of knowledge transfer
- Continuing professional development
- Collaborative research
- Contract research
- Other measures
For additional information go to Metrics for Knowledge Transfer from Public Research Organisations in Europe, pg. 4ff
Source: European Commission’s Expert Group on Knowledge Transfer Metrics (2009): Metrics for Knowledge Transfer from Public Research Organisations in Europe. Report from the European Commission’s Expert Group on Knowledge Transfer Metrics. European Commission General Information. Brussels.
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