Short articles: Unlocking the Potential of Knowledge Transfer Activities

Discover key insights from interviews with seasoned professionals in the Knowledge Transfer (KT) field. Interpersonal skills play a key role in successful collaborations between people and stakeholders.

Insights from Professionals in the Field

Knowledge Transfer (KT) is a dynamic field, and in recent interviews conducted by the Jagiellonian University team, we tapped into the hearts and minds of experts to get accurate insights on the topic. With a variety of backgrounds, ranging from geography and English philology to the specifics of intellectual property and technology transfer, our interviewees provided invaluable information on the intricacies of KT. We have collated the most enlightening perspectives to present a holistic view of the matter.

Foundational Skills for KT Success

It’s not just about hard skills but a mix of academic knowledge, real-world experience, and interpersonal communication. One interviewee shared, "My background is in geography and English philology, knowledge partly gained from the University of Leeds...” showcasing the blend of academic and experiential learning. On the other hand, another expressed the importance of early entrepreneurial experiences: "I started my business in primary school... I learned about dealing with people.” What's paramount is adaptability. Being adept in areas such as "negotiation and business development" and understanding "effective conversation management, networking, and persuasive techniques" can make all the difference.

Interesting Highlights from the Interviews

Many of our interviewees echoed the sentiment that bridging the gap between academia and businesses is challenging due to a lack of risk-taking, especially in private companies. As one participant put it, "Private companies... want a product wrapped in paper and a guarantee... they think if something is done by public universities, they should get it for free."

On the other hand, preparation remains key. As one individual emphasized, “Meetings look good when I feel substantively prepared... you have to convince someone to start a conversation.”

Unforeseen Challenges in KT Activities

One surprising revelation was the extensive time spent with companies. An interviewee mentioned, “I meet with companies... up to 50% of my working time.” However, speed remains a challenge. Universities often lack the internal tools to act promptly or prototype rapidly. The agility and responsiveness of academic institutions appeared as a bottleneck - pointing out internal barriers as a blocker to act quickly.

Identifying Barriers in KT

Among the recurrent challenges were communication barriers, lack of motivation among academics, and bureaucratic impediments. One profound statement noted the struggle with "lack of flexibility, bureaucratic hurdles, and challenges in aligning academic research with industry needs."

Internal team dynamics also present roadblocks. In-house barriers include "a lack of flexibility, difficulties in coordination, and challenges in collaboration among team members."

Useful Skills and Competencies

Despite these challenges, the importance of interpersonal skills emerged as a universal theme. One individual mentioned, “the interaction with people depends not on the project or discipline but on the people themselves.” Another highlighted the need to “understand each other's needs” and maintain consistent communication.

In Conclusion

While there are barriers in the realm of KT activities, the right blend of hard skills, soft skills, and real-world experience can pave the way for success. Our interviews shed light on the passion and dedication of experts in the field, their observations, the challenges they face, and the competencies they believe are crucial. For anyone intrigued by the world of KT, understanding these perspectives can be the starting point of a fascinating journey.


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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