Qi3 has been delivering Knowledge Exchange to the Research Councils since we began trading in 1999. Our style of commercially driven sales & marketing based Knowledge Exchange, which uses as a sales type ‘brokering process’ methodology was unique at the time and has now become adopted throughout the Research Councils and embedded within the academic community.
The Research Councils UK (RCUK) are a strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Each year the Research Councils invest around £3 billion in research covering the full spectrum of academic disciplines from the medical and biological sciences to astronomy, physics, chemistry and engineering, social sciences, economics, environmental sciences and the arts and humanities
Qi3 has succeeded in providing a substantial volume of broad, national KE programmes for PPARC/STFC, CERN & ESA, SIKTN/ESP KTN, CEOI and RCUK. Additional contracts have included the RCUK Business Plan competition/training, strategy (ESA, STFC, NERC, TSB) and programme review (STFC, NERC, EPSRC, BBSRC). Our contract base has included five major 3-year KE contracts.
For the Science and Technology Facilities Council for example, we provided an Industry Co-ordination service which supported business-industry partnerships through promotion to academics, visits to industry, workshops, mailing, PR and a personalised presence supporting formation of partnerships as ‘technology translation’. This resulted in five new spin out companies, over 30 new partnerships and encouraged many more to apply for funds from the STFC support programs. This work was undertaken by Qi3 under the STFC name, rather than as a third party, to provide a seamless link.
Other examples include ‘Cubesat Challenge’ for UKSA – a KE programme to encourage new entrants into the supply chain for space technologies; ‘Business Plan Competition’ for RCUK – a national competition to help researchers turn great research into great business and many projects for the Natural Environment Research Councils such as Environmental Monitoring and Remote Sensing.
Over the last few years, Knowledge Exchange has moved from Technology Transfer to Knowledge Transfer to Knowledge Exchange. A trend hastened by the inclusion of ‘Pathways to Impact’ statements which are included with every grant application as set out by RCUK in their guidelines – http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/kei/impacts/Pages/home.aspx. As KE has gained more prominence, it has become more political and increasingly under scrutiny. Qi3 is perfectly positioned to build and develop on the ‘Pathways to Impact’ offering and continues to grow and evolve with the Research Councils offering a wide range of KE services.