Research and Knowledge Exchange

  • Edward Crawley
  • John Hegarty
  • Kristina Edström
  • Juan Cristobal Garcia Sanchez


How do research discoveries contribute more strongly to knowledge exchange and potentially innovation?

Researchers make discoveries at the frontiers of knowledge—often revealing phenomena or truths that were previously unknown or unexplained.

Discoveries that can be exchanged include new knowledge, facts, theories, analyses, and predictions, in single disciplines or across disciplines.

Knowledge is shared with research peers and more broadly. It is exchanged through discussions, publications, joint projects, and personnel exchanges. Graduates take new knowledge into their future work.

The potential for discoveries to become more impactful and lead to innovation depends on the choice of the research topic, how the research is conducted, what partners are involved, and how results are exchanged.

We have identified four research practices that increase the potential for impact of research discoveries on knowledge exchange and potentially on innovation:
  • Pursuing fundamental discoveries along a spectrum from curiosity-driven to use-inspired that impact both scholarship and society.

  • Collaborating within and across disciplines in search for new high-impact cross-disciplinary discoveries and fields of thought.

  • Empowering large-scale Centres of Research, Education, and Innovation to find directly implementable solutions to the pressing issues of society.

  • Energizing research by engaging undergraduate and postgraduate students, preparing them as agents of knowledge exchange.


Research Discoveries Knowledge exchange Innovation Frontiers of knowledge New knowledge Interdisciplinary Cross-disciplinary Fundamentals Curiosity-driven Use-inspired Collaboration Centres Implementable solutions Students Agents 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward Crawley
    • 1
  • John Hegarty
    • 2
  • Kristina Edström
    • 3
  • Juan Cristobal Garcia Sanchez
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Trinity College DublinDublinIreland
  3. 3.KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

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