Australian tech transfer talks skills and competencies

KCA and gemaker have kicked off stage two of the research project “Knowledge Transfer in Australia: Is there a Route to Professionalisation?” with state based workshops being held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne so far.  We have been delighted with the turn out in each state, and are pleased to see the tech transfer community showing strong support for, and taking ownership of, the future of this profession in this country.


These workshops have provided a great foundation on which we can build out the following phases of the study, thanks to the valuable input provided by a diverse mix of practitioners from across the sector.  Having diversity of thought and experience has provided balanced insight into the nature of various positions within the industry, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn the specifics as to what’s involved in different roles on a day to day basis.


In among the impassioned discussion around role clarification, there have been entertaining exchanges as to what we call our industry and how we describe ourselves as professionals, and there have also been some very meaningful ideas being put forward as to how we should expect ourselves to be perceived by our stakeholders in government and industry.


We will be running two more workshops – one in Perth and one in Adelaide – before moving on to stage three of the study.  Stage three involves collating and analysing all of the insights provided at the workshops and developing a competency map.  In essence, this is a big mud map of the skills, knowledge, behaviours and values required for research to be effectively taken from research organisations and be put to use.


This work is important for our profession as no such study with this specific focus has ever been done before. There is a real need to develop consistency around the terminology we use to describe what it is that we do, to better inform stakeholders of what’s involved, and increase awareness of the profession and the benefits it provides.


KCA will use the results of this research to better inform our professional development offering going forwards. The competency map is a tool for our members: organisations and individuals will be able to use this tool to better inform professional development needs, and it will be a tool which will help provide role clarity and help stakeholders understand resourcing requirements.  The map will also offer a more defined career pathway including entry and exit points into the industry.


We are looking forward to the upcoming workshops in Adelaide and Perth. If you weren’t able to make it to any of the scheduled workshops, stay tuned as there will be series of one-on-one interviews throughout July and August. The more input we get, the more useful the resulting end tool.

A big thank you goes out to 3M, Swinburne and Uniquest for allowing us to use their venues and affording us the opportunity to connect – and an even bigger thanks goes out to those who have shown support for this project and donated their time to contribute to this piece of work.

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