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Royal seal of approval for Kingston conference

Posted Tuesday 8 December 2009

Henry VIII and Catherine Howard lookalikes with delegates at the national conference gala dinner at Hampton Court Palace More than 140 academics, business leaders and sponsors from around the world attended the first international conference on academic research through knowledge transfer.  

The one day event at Hampton Court Palace, Richmond upon Thames, aimed to bring together all those involved in this rapidly developing field. Knowledge transfer is about transferring good ideas, research results and skills between universities, other research organisations, business and the wider community. It is often used in the development of new products and services.

Deborah Lock, Kingston University’s Executive Director of Enterprise, said the event aimed to bring together all those involved in knowledge transfer.  Deborah Lock, Kingston University's Executive Director of Enterprise, said: "The breadth and extent of these activities is considerable because they are based on the knowledge and expertise within higher education institutions, businesses and other organisations. Our ability to communicate and share both new and existing knowledge is critical for mutually beneficial knowledge exchange and innovation."

The conference, 'Innovation Through Knowledge Transfer 2009: Research With Impact' (InnovationKT '09), was organised by Kingston University, the Institute of Knowledge Transfer and KES International, a worldwide association for researchers.

Forty papers on projects in fields ranging from chemical science, engineering and telecoms to public art and culture were presented to the conference. Contributions came from universities around the UK as well as Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Taiwan and Canada. Sir Brian Fender of the Institute of Knowledge Transfer and a former chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, was the keynote speaker. 

Charlene Edwards, Kingston’s Head of Knowledge Transfer (left), with Iain Grey, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, and Dr Debbie Buckley-Golder, Programme Director of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.Charlene Edwards, Kingston University's Head of Knowledge Transfer, said the conference would raise the profile of knowledge transfer and spread news of the latest developments and best practice to a wider audience. "The conference will help to reinforce Kingston University's position as a leader in the field while showcasing cutting edge projects. It will also highlight knowledge transfer's value as an activity that can have a positive impact on society and the economy."

Hampton Court Palace is a particularly good location for the conference because Kingston University worked with the historic palace on a three-year knowledge transfer partnership project to mark the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession to the throne in 2009. The project involved history graduate Suzannah Lipscomb working as a research curator exploring the lives of the courtiers and servants who populated the palace in the 16th century.  

InnovationKT '09 was followed by a two-day national conference on December 3-4 for knowledge transfer managers, also held at Hampton Court Palace. Although the event has been running for around 15 years, it is the first time Kingston University has hosted it.

Delegates at the two-day national conference enjoyed a gala dinner presided over by a Henry VIII lookalike.

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