European Commission Expert Group has made recommendations for EU-wide Knowledge Transfer Metrics

17 June 2020

An expert working group, convened by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) to consider a route toward a European-wide set of harmonised metrics for knowledge transfer across universities and other publicly funded research institutions, has published its recommendations.

The development of a standardised metrics approach emanates from a desire to capture the range of knowledge transfer from publicly funded research across Member States and the longer-term value it adds, both economically and socially. Providing a rich and consistent data set is helpful in informing policy development.

The report from the Expert Group, published by the European Commission this month, details a series of ten recommendations. At the heart of these is the premise that output metrics cannot be viewed in isolation from inputs, essentially the context in which knowledge transfer is performed, from environment to funding, will influence outcomes.  The report offers a set of core indicators that could be used EU–wide and suggests supplementary indicators that would add value. Consulting widely to develop their recommendations, the Expert Group found that there was broad buy-in to the concept of harmonisation provided that the data are used intelligently, allowing universities to assess their development and maturity and compare against similar institutions working in similar contexts.  This range of KT indicators offer a broader perspective from which performance is measured.

The European Commission's Expert Group was chaired by Alison Campbell, Director of Knowledge Transfer Ireland.

Commenting on the report, Dr Alison Campbell, Director of KTI and Chair of the European Commission's Expert Group said;

“Over the past ten years we have witnessed the development of a strong platform for knowledge transfer in Europe and growth in the number of KT offices in the EU Member States. This growth is reflective of the importance placed on knowledge transfer and the dissemination of research results.

The true value of knowledge transfer goes beyond the traditional measures of patenting, licensing, number of spin–offs and revenue.  By adopting more representative indicators that are comparable across Europe, KT metrics and their analysis will better reflect the realities of knowledge transfer which in turn can inform and influence strategy.” 

The full report titled ‘Knowledge Transfer Metrics: Towards a European–wide set of harmonised indicators’ is available to download here.

For more information contact Elizabeth Carvill 

Source: KTI