KEC Toolkit

Resources & Support
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What does Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation mean?

Developing communication skills

For Students with a business idea

For early career researchers who want to start building links with industry

For staff members looking for support with all aspects of KEC activity

Funding Opportunities

Downloadable guides

Other Useful Links

Knowledge Exchange and Communication (KEC) is a key contributor towards our aim of producing research with applications and impact outside of the research community.

What do these terms mean?

Knowledge Exchange describes the processes, mechanisms, networks and relationships that enable knowledge derived from research activity to move between organisations.  The term is applied to the sharing of knowledge that has potential impact on innovation, and to change, transform, enhance or generate new or improved professional practices, policies, technologies, products, services and public perceptions.

For information about BBSRC and RCUK interpretation and actions on knowledge exchange, please click here

Commercialisation (which in some contexts is referred to as Technology Transfer) describes the process by which the outcomes of research activity are brought to the market place through the development of new products, processes, services or technologies. The process involves the identification of research which has potential commercial interest and the designing of strategies for how to derive benefit from this research.  This will include the protecting and managing of the rights to intellectual property.  Strategies can include the creation of licensing agreements or joint ventures, partnerships, or spin-out companies.

The BBSRC offer a  list of Innovation resources which includes useful links on:
  • Intellectual Property - Guides for finding out the basics about IP
  • Commercialisation agreements - what you can expect out of the negotiations and contracts
  • Metrics and reports - Useful data and information about knowledge transfer and innovation

Looking to develop your communication skills?

The Institute for Academic Development (IAD) runs a series of courses to help develop business and communications skills,  essential for successful knowledge exchange activities. They also offer career management advice and suggestions for finding networks and forums within which to engage with other researchers. Click on below groupings for tailored services:

Look out for additional ad-hoc activities such as:
  • competitions which not only develop communications skills but can also lead to increased impact
  • bespoke personal development courses such as Enterprising Women
  • sand-pit events for interdisciplinary research funding
  • research led funding calls: which enables researchers to run development events for their own colleagues.  More about researcher led funding

Are you a student with a business idea?

Launch.ed works with students every day to help them explore their ideas, find funding and business partners, and ultimately, to work for themselves. Their services are free, confidential, and available to any University of Edinburgh student for the duration of their studies, as well as alumni up to two years after graduation. LAUNCH.ed also runs a full programme of enterprise events. Contact

  • Free one to one appointments with a business adviser
  • Workshops, Bootcamps, and Competitions
  • Mentoring
  • Funding Your Start-up
  • Access to free legal and accountancy clinics with a range of external providers

Are you an early career researcher and want to gain commercial experience and start to build links with industry?

Innovation Forum is a student-led initiative which provides a platform for developing innovative skill sets and partnering & exchange between researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and industry. They have established extensive links with tech and consulting companies who are eager to engage the intellectual talent of students and researchers at universities around the world.

See the events programme for Seminars, workshops & networking led by the annual Innovation Leaders Conference and for Industry experience and Consulting opportunities. Open to students and Postdocs.

Information on the Edinburgh Innovation Forum team.

Are you a staff member looking for support with KEC activity?

KEC activities in the University are supported by Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI).  Find the appropriate member of staff to help you here


Find the appropriate member of ERI’s staff who can help you with your specific enquiry. - See more at:
Find the appropriate member of ERI’s staff who can help you with your specific enquiry. - See more at:
Research collaborations with the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agricultural sectors.
Expert advice and access to facilities for a range of clients, from government agencies, to SMEs and large corporations.
Innovative tools and technologies developed by our researchers available for licensing and further commercial development. 
Technologies that can be made available at no cost to make it as easy as possible for industry, entrepreneurs and the public for ready access to our inventions.
Support for staff  who would like to start their own business.
Also see

Funding Opportunities


Downloadable Guides

Comprehensive guide issued by ERI

Other useful links