Unlocking collaboration. Catalysing innovation. One skill at a time.

What is KT SoftSkills?

Knowledge Transfer (KT) professionals play a key role in making academic knowledge more accessible. They also act as supportive catalysts between the research base, business sector and community organisations. Successfully navigating these interfaces requires strong professional and interpersonal skills, and this is where KT SoftSkills comes in!

KT SoftSkills is a collaborative project co-funded by the European Union, that aims to improve the soft skills KT professionals need for sustaining fruitful collaboration between academia and the business world. Skills such as communication and negotiation are invaluable to Knowledge Transfer professionals, who build bridges across different stakeholders while also supporting researchers in commercialising their work.

The KT SoftSkills project consists of three phases. First is an investigation report made by interviewing KT professionals about their soft skill needs. The second report focuses on self assessment and testing a set of soft skills with validation by KT professionals and experts, through interviews and focus groups. Finally, the knowledge and information received from the reports will be utilized to create a training programme and toolkit for improving KT Professionals’ soft skills.

Who is KT SoftSkills for?

Knowledge transfer professionals

Through the design of a training programme, the project aims to provide KT professionals with a comprehensive set of soft skills for improving their ability to build and manage cooperation partnerships. KT professionals and experts will be directly involved in validation, self-assessment, focus groups, and pre-test activities, as well as international meetings.

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

It is crucial for HEIs to take advantage of KT professionals' capability of supporting and managing wide cooperation partnerships between different actors. HEIs will be included in the project through their KT professionals participating in validation and pre-test activities.

Business sector

Improving KT professionals’ soft skills will allow all types of business organisations to take advantage of cooperation opportunities with Higher Education Institutions. KT professionals in the business sector will be involved in different project activities.


The training programme, that will be created as an outcome of the project, is an opportunity not only for the KT professionals already in the sector, but also for graduates who wish to start a career in KT and acquire the right skills for the job.


The programme is also an opportunity for other organisations to be included in cooperation partnerships, and contribute in a direct way to the generation of new ideas and solutions.

Why are soft skills important for KT professionals?

Soft skills have numerous positive effects on professional performance. They help with building trust and motivation at the workplace, understanding cultural and personal differences and creating the best possible conditions for innovation.

For KT professionals, who work at the interface between academic and business sectors, a strong set of soft skills is vital. Effectively supporting researchers in their work requires empathy, critical thinking and adaptability. Soft skills also provide KT professionals the tools to build strategic collaborations among different organisations. With sufficient soft skills, KT professionals will succeed in their job as catalysts of knowledge and builders of effective and inclusive partnerships.

Project goals

KT SoftSkills aims to..

…help KT professionals succeed in their job by providing tools and training for improving their professional skill set

…build stronger bridges and effective collaboration between the research base, business sector and community organisations

…sustain effective knowledge transfer and make academic knowledge more accessible

Project's outcomes

The project outcome consists of three parts:

KT SoftSkills Investigation Report:
The specific needs and benefits of enhancing KT professionals’ soft skills will be defined by collecting already existing training experiences designed for KT professionals

KT SoftSkills Self Assessment Framework and Report:
A set of soft skills will be pre-tested and validated by KT professionals and experts through interviews and focus groups, along with a self-assessment framework that measures to what extent KT professionals own and use soft skills

KT SoftSkills Training programme and Toolkit:
Based on the data collected with the reports, a training programme will be created to improve the soft skills of KT professionals and to help them succeed in their job

Project schedule

June / 2023

September / 2023

October / 2023

The project is launched

Short articles about the Skill Investigation Report

Validation meetings of the Skill Investigation Report


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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