Knowledge exchange between academia and industry

Moncaster, A.; Hinds, D.; Cruickshank, H.; Guthrie, P.; Crishna, N.; Baker, K.; Beckman, K. and Jowitt, P. W. (2010). Knowledge exchange between academia and industry. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability, 163(3) pp. 167–174.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1680/ensu.2010.163.3.167

Abstract

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report unambiguously demonstrated the critical and serious nature of climate change. It specifically outlined the urgent need for new practices and technologies within the built environment, and this in turn needs effective and quick knowledge development and transfer. While, historically, construction research has presupposed the ‘pipeline’ model of knowledge transfer from academics to practitioners, often in a slow and piecemeal process, there has been a recent move towards greater involvement of practitioners in research, following theories from the social sciences about the roles of social networks and communities of practice in the co-production of knowledge. However, there is little empirical evidence to show whether the involvement of practitioners in construction research is changing either research practices or the acquisition of new knowledge by practitioners. This paper provides some of this evidence, by summarising the results from four studies to investigate how knowledge is being created within the Sustainable Urban Environment research consortia and how it is being accessed by the construction industry. It describes some of the successful approaches that are currently being followed and also highlights some of the continuing discontinuities between research and practice. Some recommendations for further improvement are suggested.

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