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Lessons from coordinating a knowledge exchange network

Our funders, EPSRC, are interested in understanding what makes a knowledge exchange network such as ARCC successful, so we commissioned a report to find out. Through interviews with staff and network members, consultant Ian Cooper built a picture of the complexities of managing a network, and the supporting strategies and skills needed.

The report objectives are to:

  • identify and share good practice and experiences from a coordination and knowledge exchange network, particularly in support of interdisciplinary and stakeholder-led research programmes
  • capture learning to ensure it remains accessible and useful in the future
  • identify those aspects where greatest value can be achieved as a focus for future activities
  • consider transferable messages, learning from the built environment and infrastructure sectors.

The first part of this report catalogues what network members said they want. The second part outlines the strategies and tactics that coordination team members have developed or adopted for dealing with this complexity of requirements.

Lesson learnt shares some overall conclusions and highlights messages that may be of interest to other research-based networks and funding organisations.

There are lessons and good practice which we hope will be translated into future practice, both through Research Councils, and in other research funders, and the research community and institutions more widely, and in particular concerning the coordination of programmes to enable capacity building and impact.