We are UBC's hub for mobilizing research into policy, practice, culture, and public dialogue for the benefit of communities in BC, Canada, and around the world.
We increase the societal impact of UBC research by supporting researchers to connect, exchange and engage with non-academic partners through training and provision of tools, coordination of services, tailored support and opportunities to demonstrate and share impact.
Non-academic partners can include government officials, community service providers, non-profit organizations and the general public.
Karine Souffez, Associate Director, Knowledge Exchange
Collaborating with a rich network of partners, I play a strategic role in achieving the UBC Kx Unit’s mission. I work to develop services, support and resources responsive to the needs of researchers, students and staff who want to engage with non-academic partners, and exchange ideas, knowledge and evidence for societal impact.
Erica Machulak, Knowledge Exchange Specialist
My role is to provide guidance and develop training and resources to support researchers, students and staff in planning and implementing their Kx activities. I work with UBC groups and external partners to mobilize and leverage collective expertise and expand available Kx support.
UBC's Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation created the UBC Knowledge Exchange unit in November 2018 to accelerate and increase societal research impact. The Unit is part of Innovation UBC along with the University-Industry Liaison Office, e@UBC and Innovation Partnerships.
Two reports provide significant insights for the development of a knowledge exchange institutional capacity at UBC:
- Enhancing KMb@UBC: Mobilizing UBC Research in the Policy Realm (Quayle, Bravo and MacLennan)
- Co-Creating the UBC Knowledge Exchange: A Collaborator in the UBC Innovation Hub (Quayle, Bravo and MacLennan, 2018)
What knowledge exchange means for us
We see knowledge exchange as a two-way learning process in which academic and non-academic partners share their expertise and capacities to drive effective research impact. Our premise is that academic knowledge alone is often not sufficient to create positive change in society. Non-academic partners’ knowledge, skills and experience are also needed for evidence to be contextualized and used.
Although other expressions are used to describe the same idea, such as ‘knowledge translation’ or ‘knowledge mobilization’, we chose the term ‘knowledge exchange’ to highlight the interactive, iterative and multidirectional character of the process. The term knowledge exchange is also neutral in the sense that it can apply to all disciplines.
Action Plan Working Document 2019-2022
The UBC Knowledge Exchange Unit is currently developing an action plan that outlines a proposal to implement Strategy 9 of the UBC Strategic Plan, Shaping UBC's Next Century: "Improve the ecosystem that supports the translation of research into action."
A draft of the Knowledge Exchange Action Plan will be posted online.
UBC Knowledge Exchange is an official member of Research Impact Canada. RIC is a pan-Canadian network of universities committed to maximizing the impact of academic research for the public good in local and global communities. In 2018, RIC has been honored with an Outstanding Achievement Award at the inaugural Real Impact Awards.
MSFHR is British Columbia’s health research funding agency and is a recognized leader in knowledge translation and exchange. The Knowledge Exchange Unit is proud to collaborate with MSFHR as it builds capacity for Kx for UBC and the province.