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KTT Toolbox: Compact, handy, clear

Science is not an end in itself. Due to the urgency of the current climate and energy crisis, the research community has an increased obligation not only to develop new technologies, methods or processes, but also to render them accessible in time, or even better: to actively bring them into implementation. Funders increasingly call on researchers to engage in knowledge and technology transfer (KTT) in order to make impact and to stimulate the long-wanted change.

Despite numerous support measures, the possibilities of KTT remain underexploited. The KTT Toolbox helps to remedy this situation.


Open and use

The KTT Toolbox is a handy box for researchers and other restless people engaged in knowledge transfer. The box contains 30 cards with methods for interacting with stakeholders, e.g. other researchers, public officials or practitioners. Using a punch card principle and based on six criteria, an ingenious sorting function supports the search for most suitable tools:

  1. direction of information flow
  2. group size
  3. attention span
  4. budge
  5. previous knowledge
  6. 6. project phase.

All tools are straightforward and immediately applicable. Additional tools can be added on blank cards.


Pause and think

The development of the KTT toolbox has been significantly influenced by the working group "Knowledge & Technology Transfer in large Energy Research Programs", which was established by WSL in 2015 to coordinate and support KTT activities in Swiss energy research.

"Knowledge workers often act in isolation, have only vague objectives and usually limited financial resources," the group soberly concluded. "With a synthesis report presented at the final event, the topic of KTT is usually ticked off, although it encompasses much more!" reads one finding in the working group's field report (Roschewitz & Björnsen 2021). In fact, KTT is outside researchers area of expertise. Besides incentives (why should I?), there is a lack of alternative ideas about what researchers and their partners could do to promote knowledge transfer, but also dialogue between the participants.


From intention to transfer

In order to anchor the topic of KTT as a central pillar in the new federal funding program SWEET, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy commissioned WSL and novatlantis to develop a KTT toolbox. This gadget shall provide researchers with a low-threshold approach to the topic. The 30 proposed methods introduce KTT newcomers to the topic, support inter- and transdisciplinary teams in their collaboration and provide ideas for the development of KTT concepts. The toolbox is also suitable for application in other subject areas.

The new toolbox can be ordered from the WSL eShop for 69.50 sFr. (50.50 sFr. for WSL members).