Interesting. Networking has always been part of academic life, but there’s clearly been a shift from finding those ‘of similar mind’ to those who can help fund your work…

A significant number of academics feel it is not part of their job to help businesses bring their research to market, according to an investigation into attitudes to knowledge transfer.

Such activity is high on the political agenda, with David Willetts, the universities and science minister, challenging institutions to increase their income from knowledge transfer by 10 per cent over the next three years.

However, scholars often think they do not have the skills to network with the business leaders who could turn their research into a new product or service, according to a PhD thesis written by Kristel Miller, a teaching fellow in management at the University of Abertay Dundee.

About 40 per cent of the researchers questioned who were working with the university to commercialise their work said they felt they had been “forced” to do so, Ms Miller told Times Higher Education.

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