Authors: M. Keegan Porter, Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, Georgia Bayliss-Brown and David Murphy
Summary: The Environmental Protection Agency has funded research projects that have increased national understanding of our environment; the challenges it faces; and how Ireland can move towards a more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly economy. However, despite efforts to improve the communication of project findings, translating research into measurable impact remains a challenge for the scientific community.
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The goal of scientific research is to discover new knowledge that has an impact on society, usually through the advancement of science, industry or policy. Despite the efforts of funding agencies to support impact creation and to support researchers to improve the communication and dissemination of their findings, communication beyond academic publications remains a challenge. The single action of making knowledge publicly available, through dissemination alone, does not always result in uptake and application by potential users, which would then result in measurable impacts. This report advocates a more proactive systematic approach, known as “knowledge transfer”.
Knowledge transfer is a two-way process through which a “knowledge output” moves from a knowledge source to a targeted potential user, who then applies that knowledge. A knowledge output is a unit of knowledge or learning generated by or through research activity. The reason that
knowledge transfer is described as a two-way process is because its core philosophy is to frame transfer activities around target users’ needs. Effective knowledge transfer requires that a specific target user is profiled and bespoke materials are developed in a medium that is framed for, and
specific to, that user’s motivations, role, needs and interests in order to maximise the likelihood of uptake and application.
Research 284b: Knowledge Transfer Guidelines and Recommendations for Irish Funding Agencies: How to Embed Knowledge Transfer Principles into Irish Funding Programmes to Help Maximise Measurable Impacts from Public Investmentshttps://www.epa.ie/media/epa-2020/publications/research/Research_284a_Thumbnail.jpg