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134INNOVATION UKINNOVATION How Research Councils UK supports successful knowledge transfer Opening doors With extensive research investments, Research Councils UK ( RCUK), the strategic partnership of the seven UK Research Councils, is continually exploring innovative ways to encourage and support the exchange of people, knowledge and skills between the research community and the public, private and third sectors. Each year we invest around £ 3bn in research covering the full spectrum of academic disciplines including the medical and biological sciences, physical, mathemati-cal and engineering sciences, social sciences, economics, environmental sciences and the arts and humanities. As the UK moves out of the current recession, RCUK believes that research is vital for sustained growth and prosperity. The need for open dialogue, engagement and collabo-ration between research, industry and policy is greater than ever. RCUK will maintain and enhance our support for knowledge- transfer activities so that the UK continues to be successful in turning innovative ideas into tangible benefits. To facilitate these collaborations, RCUK supports a diverse range of activities that reflect the varied nature of knowledge transfer. For example, in February of this year we launched the RCUK Knowledge Transfer Portal, a one- stop shop that gives details of all seven Research Councils' knowledge- transfer schemes and activities and how to get involved. The portal is especially designed to help researchers and businesses find funding for knowledge- transfer schemes and make sure that they are aware of the huge range of opportunities offered by the Research Councils. Opportunities are presented in four areas: collaborative research; collaborative training; people exchange; and commercialisation and development. Visitors can read a brief description of each activity within these areas and then click straight through to the relevant webpage for further information. The site is designed to be user-friendly and accessible, with a glossary for quick reference and a case- studies section which gives examples of some of the success stories of researchers' businesses who've benefited from our schemes. Alison Campbell, Managing Director of King's College London Business, says: " This is a great initiative. Pro-viding a gateway for business and the public sector to access the wealth of knowledge and expertise available at research institutions is essential for the UK as a knowl-edge economy. The portal will complement our own serv-ices creating significant partnerships to maximise innova-tion and to add value to our partners' business goals and help increase their global effectiveness." The schemes listed on the portal are incredibly diverse, reflecting the wide range of our research investments and partners. From enabling PhD students to spend time working closely with policy- makers, to giving industrial scientists time out to pursue research interests in a uni-versity; from an award that rewards researchers who have seen and seized unexpected opportunities for impact arising from research, to financially supporting further development of ideas with commercial potential, we sup-port an enormous range of knowledge- transfer activities and opportunities. It's all about opening doors - encouraging the exchange of good ideas, research results and skills between universi-ties and other research organisations, business, the third sector, public sector and the wider community. Professor David Delpy is the RCUK Knowledge Transfer and Eco-nomic Impact Champion. His role as champion involves helping the Research Councils achieve their ambition to maximise the benefits the UK's world- class researchers and research can bring to society and the economy. " With the continued growth and emphasis on the UK's knowledge- based economy, now is the time to capitalise on our strengths in research, innovation and a skilled workforce," says Professor Delpy. " We have recently asked Centres of Excellence research councils uk