PraxisAuril 2019
Theme Descriptions

01. New Modes of External Engagement 

Description:

As the expectations of universities to accelerate national R&D and enrich society grow, so does the breadth and depth of partners knowledge exchange practitioners collaborate with. From major charities, to micro SMEs, to Local Enterprise Partnerships, to scholars working across the arts, humanities and social scientists, our community of partners has never been so diverse.

This diversity brings challenges; negotiating contracts with charities, to convincing academic colleagues that knowledge exchange isn’t just for STEM specialisms.  So, for this year’s PraxisAuril conference, we are inviting sessions to share examples of successful initiatives around how we can engage new knowledge exchange partners, to enrich our community of practice.

We are looking for a range of submissions and would like to include a variety of formats e.g. workshops, seminars, presentations/case studies, facilitated discussions, expert panels or any innovative approach to presenting one or other of the topics below.  We welcome session proposals exploring the following topics, as well as suggestions for topics that could be explored in an open session:

Working with charities and other third sector organisations

For example, exploration of the considerations for successful collaboration in this sector including how barriers been overcome and successful outcomes. What new models/approaches for engaging with researchers across the arts, humanities and social scientists? What’s changing in this landscape in terms of funding and government policy which requires new forms of partnerships? What does the funding landscape look like for new forms of knowledge exchange, and are HEI’s engaging with charities, foundations, or other organisations in new ways?

 Place and Regional Engagement

Locality is a key pillar of the Industrial Strategy and with Local Industrial Strategies (LIS) and Regional Economic Development an increasing priority, how does this change the practice of knowledge exchange? Does the Industrial Strategy present opportunities for engagement in the humanities and social sciences? What influence that LIS are / will have an impact on external engagement? How to engage with stakeholders and compare of practice from different regions? What does best practice look like for engaging with regional stakeholders to develop local industrial strategies and consortia for large bids? What is in the pipeline post EU-funding for regional development? How can we successfully benefit from related funding streams (e.g. LGF, ERDF)? What will the Shared Prosperity Fund look like?

 KE within Humanities

Effective approaches for engaging humanities researches: how do these differ from other subject areas? What opportunities exist for interdisciplinary approaches using digital technology? What are some examples of successful cultural and creative sector collaborations and funders, and/or alignment with industrial strategy?

 Communicating the Offering

How do we effectively communicate the offering both internally and externally? How do we know what it is that “industry wants”, and how might that vary across disciplines or sectors? How then do we actively engage colleagues in KE: what works and what doesn’t to achieve the internal ‘sale’? How can we promote success to broaden engagement? What opportunities and challenges exist around early career researchers and external engagement?

 Connecting our Capabilities

The Connecting Capabilities Fund creates unique opportunities to bring together universities, research institutes and external partners in new ways. What are the early success stories and insights from the CCF projects? What new flows of ideas, people and funding have been formed? What new partners and people have been brought into the ecosystem? Are we reaching new frontier-barriers which require collective thought and perhaps new policy to overcome?

 PraxisAuril Conference Committee theme leads:

  • Rebecca Edwards, Bournemouth University
  • Leanne Kenyon, University of Hertfordshire
  • Rob Singh, University of Essex
  • Britta Wyatt, Oxentia Ltd

02. Global Knowledge Exchange

Description:

Is international funding and collaboration set to play an increasing role in knowledge exchange and technology transfer? This theme will explore how KE professionals can optimise the opportunities presented by the interest of international investment funds and industry collaborators in the intellectual capital of the UK’s universities.

Sessions within this theme will enable delegates to discuss current developments and good practice, and to explore the roles of KE professionals in attracting and supporting international funding and collaboration.  We aim to identify common requirements amongst HEIs and initiate further international analysis and cooperation between PraxisAuril members. Key areas will include:

Intellectual Property management strategies for international collaborations

– Examples of successful partnerships

 The role of KE professionals in supporting Foreign Direct Investment

– What factors influence foreign investment (government policy, research quality, access to IP, HEI policy etc.) and what can we do as a community to encourage greater investment?

Strategies to attract investment for commercialisation and spin out scaling

– Where specifically is this investment coming from?

– Where is the money going and how can we broaden the investment to other sectors?

 The role of KE Professionals in the engagement of prospective international partners

– How do we effectively engage and communicate internationally?

– Should engagement strategies vary regionally and if so, why?

We are looking for a range of submissions and would like to include a variety of formats e.g. workshops, seminars, presentations/case studies, facilitated discussions, expert panels or any innovative approach to presenting one or other of the topics below.  We welcome session proposals exploring the topics above, as well as suggestions for topics that could be explored in an open session.

PraxisAuril Conference Committee theme leads:

  • Tim Brundle, Ulster University
  • Stuart Duncan, University of Edinburgh
  • Nicola McConville, Penningtons Manches LLP

03. Supporting Impact and Knowledge Exchange 

Description:

This theme will consider the pivotal role of the PraxisAuril community in supporting knowledge exchange, focusing on the inter-institutional learning that is an important precursor to developing, extending and maintaining relationships with key external intermediaries and research users.  It is also about recognising the frameworks through which we report on KE and impact, such as the KE Framework (KEF) and the Research Excellence Framework (REF), in terms of impact, and how as a community we can prepare for these. 

The development of the KEF offers opportunities and challenges, a moment for the sector to take stock, and for institutions to refine and prioritise their strategies in this area.

We are looking for a range of submissions and would like to include a variety of formats e.g. workshops, seminars, presentations/case studies, facilitated discussions, expert panels or any innovative approach to presenting one or other of the topics below.  We welcome session proposals exploring the following topics, as well as suggestions for topics that could be explored in an open session:

KEF Consultation/pilot organisations

We would like to hear from universities involved in the KEF Pilot to share their thoughts and feedback: 

– Decisions for joining the pilot

– Who/what was involved in the process

– Learnings (internally) and externally (benchmarking – depending on what stage the pilot is at)

– Suggested changes to the KEF as a result of the pilot?

 -How we should prepare for the KEF as a sector

REF-KEF, the missing link

Following discussions at the PraxisAuril 2018 autumn conference in Liverpool,  this session will consider how best practice in impact and knowledge exchange might be shared both between and within professional services directorates, and how supporting the REF and the KEF could be more closely aligned. The session will cover:

– Different institutional models of impact/KE support

– Best practice in supporting an impact pipeline

– Common mistakes and misconceptions regarding REF impact

– Overlaps between the REF and KEF where new models for KE support could emerge

– The role of impact accelerators in the KE/impact landscape

– How to impact and evidence KE/impact

– Core competencies required to support and identify impact

We would like to hear from institutions who have different institutional models for supporting REF impact and KE, and how they identify the impact pipeline.

Supporting Public Policy Engagementwe are keen to hear from members who interact with Government(s) and Parliament(s) in terms of public policy engagement and impact, to explore the contours of public policy impact and how it fits within both the research impact agenda (REF), as well as wider role of universities as civic actors, including:

– Best practice in engagement with Government(s) at a number of scales

– The reasons why institutions might want to support institutional policy initiatives (and the different models for doing this)

– How to work with academics to get their work disseminated, recognised and utilised by policymakers

– The role of the Civic University in delivering policy outcomes

Open Session

We are interested in additional contributions from the sector that speak to these themes, and will arrange an open session to explore them further

PraxisAuril Conference Committee theme leads:

  • Chris Hewson, University of York
  • Sven Hofmann, St George’s, University of London & St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Yvonne Kinnaird, University of Strathclyde

04. Professional Development for KE/TT staff 

Description:  

With increasing pressures on KE and TT offices the professional development of staff is key in maximising effectiveness within the community they serve, to realise potential and promote confidence.  The aim of this theme is to highlight good practice and examples of training and professional development to reinforce existing practice, or give confidence to change current practices, ensuring that our staff are skilled and competent to undertake their ever-growing role.

The theme will look to explore various aspects of professional development for KE/TT staff, including those which complement current offerings from PraxisAuril. 

We are looking for a range of submissions and would like to include a variety of formats e.g. workshops, seminars, presentations/case studies, facilitated discussions, expert panels or any innovative approach to presenting one or other of the topics below.  We welcome session proposals exploring the following topics, as well as suggestions for topics that could be explored in an open session:

Supporting an Entrepreneurial Culture in HEI’s (staff and students)

– Examples of successful initiatives and/or the impact of schemes which support staff or students

– Examples of University specific internal/local schemes

Supporting the KEF / REF agenda

– How can the KE/TTO professional evidence impact in order to support the KEF/REF agenda within their organisation?

– Sharing best practice for management strategies, what has worked well?

Attractiveness for industry, top tips

– How can we promote an attractive licensing deal? What key steps should we be following in order for our discussions to be successful?

– Top tips TTO’s should consider when spinning out

 Developing key Skills for KE/TT professionals –

– account management, engaging with investors, supporting the wider KE agenda (CPD, consultancy, apprenticeships, the role of professional qualifications), relationship management

 PraxisAuril Conference Committee theme leads:

  • Frank Allison, FIS360 Ltd
  • Alison Hardy, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Pete Leather, University of Central Lancashire
  • Rhian North, Cardiff University

Global KE

New modes of external engagement

Supporting Impact and Knowledge Exchange

Professional development for KE/TT Staff

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