Cleantech Case Study: IP and Impact audit of the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Liverpool
The school covers research in a number of related areas across earth, ocean and ecological sciences as well as geography and planning, and is part of some cross-disciplinary centres and projects, such as the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation. We helped the School to examine the potential for commercialising research outputs from within the School, as well as to increase their wider Impact.
Historically, the School of Environmental Sciences (SOES) at the University of Liverpool has had a relatively low level of interaction with the commercialisation support provided by the Business Gateway at Liverpool, and wished to increase their knowledge exchange and commercialisation (KEC) activity to maximise the impact of their research.
This exercise involved an audit of the potential opportunities arising from the research within the school, to understand the opportunities, and any issues and problems that may be preventing a higher level of engagement. The audit looked at both the commercial attractiveness and commercialisation potential of its current research, facilities and services, but also considered wider Impact potential, for example through policy and public engagement.
The emphasis was on gaining a better understanding of the types of translational activity within the school to identify those research areas with the most credible route to market, and the most compelling Impact stories.
We also carried out an investigation of current and past interactions with industry, to identify areas where research collaboration relationships could be extended or renewed.
The audit identified a number of potential opportunities for commercial, social, policy and public engagement impact from the research in the School. These are at different stages of development, and we also outlined the next steps needed to progress these projects.
Having audited the overall situation, we recommended priority areas to focus on, and ways to increase the interactions, and discussed these recommendations with senior members of the School, Business Gateway and the University. The recommendations have been followed up internally, and are being used to support the School in its revised KEC approach.
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