Last night was the BBC/AHRC Knowledge Exhange Programme panel discussion on collaborative learning (British Broadcasting Corporation and Arts and Humanities Research Council, Mark asked on Twitter what the AHRC was, turns out there are at least 11 AHRCs and 79 BBCs).
There was a pretty good University turn out and a few companies along also to see what the BBC were up to and how that might represent future collaborative opportunities. I’m not sure there was a whole lot of encouragement outside the fairly academic sociology / ethnography work that seemed to be the bulk of projects undertaken. It didn’t sound like this was the start of a lanscape shift in terms of commissioning or technology R&D collaborations. But then the BBC is a pretty big beast and change takes time.
I did have a good chat with the AHRC folks on evaluation and how you measure the longer term outcomes and impact of Knowledge Exchange programmes. This is a tricky topic since the impacts of knowledge exchange tend to become apparent long after the event, and can rarely be attributed to a single cause. What we tend to end up using are approximations and indicators of success (by ‘we’ I refer to my ‘day job’ with Knowledge West where we’re currently designing and implementing an evaluation of the Knowledge Exchange activities and their wider impact). This is also something that hopefully the newly formed Institute of Knowledge Transfer will champion (Disclosure: I am a member of the IKT and currently standing for election to the Board).