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Knowledge transfer: the graduate experience of the FUSION programme in Island of Ireland food companies

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

Mitchell, Peter and Mitchell, Mai (2011) Knowledge transfer: the graduate experience of the FUSION programme in Island of Ireland food companies. In: Second International ISEKI_Food Conference entitled “ISEKI_Food 2011 – Bridging Training and Research for Industry and the Wider Community”., Milan. ISEKI_Food 3. 273 pp. [Conference contribution]

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Abstract

With the move of advanced economies from a resource-based to a knowledge-based production, many national governments promote knowledge transfer between universities and business. Knowledge transfer is about exchanging ideas, research results, experiences and skills, and includes technology transfer. A good example of this is seen in Inter TradeIreland’s FUSION programme, which supports the development of businesses on the island of Ireland by transferring and embedding knowledge on a cross-border basis between academia and industry. Whilst people are recognised as an effective technology transfer mechanism to industry, the role of a graduate as knowledge carrier needs to be better understood. Factors affecting knowledge transfer in food companies on the island of Ireland through the FUSION programme were investigated. From the 30 FUSION projects involving food companies for the period 2001-2007, 18 in partnership with either the University of Ulster or St. Angela’s Food Technology Centre were selected. In November 2008, the graduates from 16 of these small-to-medium sized food enterprises completed a qualitative questionnaire on their expectations and experiences of the FUSION programme at the pre-employment, induction, start-up, mid-point and end-point stages. Individual responses were analysed to identify key themes. All graduates reported career advancement, professional development, management experience and linkage to the knowledge centre as positive benefits. Key areas identified for improvement included greater graduate networking, and more specifics in defined projects, closely linked to the company development plan. The FUSION programme support structure enhances the ability of graduates to meet the needs of their company employers, and provides a very positive knowledge transfer experience for graduates in the island of Ireland food sector. The reasons for graduate movement on completion of a minority of such FUSION projects and the resulting impact on knowledge utilisation within the companies would merit further investigation.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Poster)
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE)
ID Code:21924
Deposited By:Mr Peter Mitchell
Deposited On:09 May 2012 11:42
Last Modified:09 May 2012 11:48

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