The 44th Policy Platform Seminar : The Changing State of Knowledge Exchange in the UK: 2005-2015

May 10, 2016


Type Lecture
Intended for General public / Enrolled students / International students / Alumni / Companies / University students
Date(s) June 2, 2016 17:00 — 18:30
Location Hongo Area Campus
Venue Room 201, The School of Law Bldg.
Capacity 60 people
Entrance Fee No charge
Registration Method Advance registration required

Using data based on two unique surveys of UK academic engagement with external organisations covering all disciplines at all UK universities (the first conducted in 2008/9 generated 22,000 responses; the second in 2015 generated 18,000 responses), this talk addresses changes in knowledge exchange activities as well as their dynamics. The comparison is based on a matched set of academics as well as a panel of over 4000 academics that answered both surveys. The matched analysis shows there has been a decline in commercialisation: in 2008/9, 8% of academics reported that they had taken out a patent and 15% had formed or run a consultancy, compared to just 6% and 7% respectively in the more macro-economically constrained 2012-15 period. Instead, engagement in less costly activities, such as lectures for the community have increased, as has the importance of teaching motives as reasons for engagement. The panel results additionally show that engagement is typically a recurrent persistent activity. The decision to sustain engagement levels is largely explained by past engagement efforts and the research orientation of the individual. Prior experience in engagement and a research orientation towards applied or user oriented basic research are positively related to future engagement. These forces are particularly associated with persistence in commercial activities and services. We further find that engagement persistence is partly driven by the underlying motivations of academics for engagement, and that learning and research are the most important motivations, while financial motives are ranked lowest.

[1] Hughes, A., Lawson, C., Salter, A., and Kitson, M. with Bullock, A. and Hughes, R.B. (2016) The Changing State of Knowledge Exchange: UK Academic Interactions with External Organisations 2005 -2015, NCUB, London. Online:
[2] Lawson, C., Hughes, A., Salter, A., and Kitson, M. with Bullock, A. and Hughes, R.B. (2016) Knowledge Exchange in UK Universities: Results from a Panel of Academics – 2005 – 2015, NCUB, London. Online:

Speaker Profile:
Dr. Cornelia Lawson Dr. Lawson is a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Tokyo. Until March 2016 she was a Research Fellow at the Centre for Business Research exploring academics' interaction with the private, public and charitable sectors. Cornelia completed her PhD at City University London in 2011 before taking up a position at the University of Turin. She held visiting posts at CIRCLE, Lund University, Bocconi University and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW). Her main research interests lie in the area of the economics of science and innovation, and most of her research focuses on the performance and career paths of academic researchers and industrial inventors.

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