University Knowledge Transfer

University Knowledge Transfer

SMEs play a very important role in the EU economy. Boosting direct knowledge transfer from universities to SMEs can improve an SME’s business excellence and substantially contribute to EU competitiveness. SMEs have particular requirements from any intervention. The methods used need to be resource- and time-efficient and SMEs usually need to see a direct financial return on any investment. If these criteria are met, this classical open innovation approach can be successfully applied.


Understand the relevant factors influencing the direct knowledge transfer process (e.g. simplicity of methods, time efficiency of process, trust in facilitator) and find ways to refine them.

  • Conduct knowledge transfer initiatives with SMEs in different contexts such as sectors or regions using different transfer process types (one-one, open courses, online methods etc.)  
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the transfer process and identify barriers to transfer
  • Monitor the impact of transfer to SMEs performance (e.g. revenues, employment)
  • If necessary, refine and optimize the transfer process

Guidelines especially for university teams, professional coaches, policy makers and SMEs on:

  • how to engage successfully with SMEs
  • how to transfer efficiently (non-) technical knowledge to SMEs
  • what type of knowledge transfer process yields the highest impact in different contexts

SMEs benefits

  • Company insights and actions yielding immediate success
  • Access to best practices
  • Refine business capabilities

Case studies from different contexts (sectors, regions) to show overall robustness of the process 

  • UK
  • AUT