AURIL2017 Annual Conference
5th and 6th October 2017


Bristol Marriott Royal
College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TA 

  01223 659950

Breakout sessions

At AURIL2017 we will have 12 different breakout sessions in total, split into 4 main themes:

1.     International

2.     Place and your identity

3.     Funding KE

4.     Creativity in KE


This conference theme will explore how universities are using their global networks and partners to achieve more far-reaching knowledge exchange impacts and create new international business partnerships in other regions of the world.

Breakout A: Funding & maintaining successful international partnerships

This workshop will hear how UK universities are using their international partnerships to establish new areas for globally-focussed research and knowledge exchange, and how that insight is enhancing work with business in the UK.

Breakout B: Successful international business engagement: Knowledge, partners & networks 

Establishing a bridgehead in another country to engage with the local and regional business networks is an important first step. 

Breakout C: Global focus, local action.  How international firms engage locally

How are global firms working with university networks around the world to encourage more knowledge exchange and entrepreneurship, and develop a new generation of internationally mobile students and academics?


Universities have international reach through student recruitment, alumni engagement and research. This theme will look at the growing importance of the University's sub-regional role, place based innovation and contribution to economic growth. How do Universities retain their own identity?

Breakout A: In an increasing collaborative environment, how do you differentiate your Institutional identity?

Universities are increasingly being asked by central government to collaborate in order maximise benefit from central funding.  HEIs are Anchor Institutions within their region and can easily demonstrate their place based economic benefit, however, their core business is education, research and innovation and HEIs collaborate where possible but ultimately HEIs need to differentiate their identity in order to develop their own strengths in international research.  This session discusses the role of universities in place based innovation.

Breakout B: Leveraging Place base innovation – the benefit of a University Enterprise Zone

Universities are increasingly investing in Innovation Parks as they play a key role in driving the region’s knowledge economy and create clusters of innovative small businesses.  The Future Space Innovation Centre is an example of how Universities can work with their region to establish an innovate environment located at the heart of the University Zone. 

The innovation facility is the jewel in the crown of the new £16 million University Enterprise Zone, with the Government injecting £4 million into the project and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership channelling a further £4.5 million into what is hoped will become a unit for high tech firms as they start up in the city.

Breakout C: The challenges for place based innovation.

The forthcoming Industrial Strategy may well include a new emphasis on the importance of place.  Within this concept, the process of ‘agglomeration’ emphasises the importance of increasingly dense, short, and complex flows of ideas, innovation, trade, and people across limited distances in growing economies.

This implies strongly a widening of geographic focus to many more local places which do not fit with that concept.  This session looks at the challenges that need to be overcome in this new approach.


This conference theme explores the topics of resources and funding. 

The three workshops will cover the different ways knowledge exchange offices are creating their own income to fund the knowledge exchange teams, using what resources they have to create maximum impact and how to fund knowledge exchange projects through non-traditional sources.

Breakout A: The VC has big expectations from my Knowledge Exchange Office, how do I fund it?

With ever more competition for internal funds and constraints on HEIF funding (and in some cases no KE funding), this session will explore the different ways Knowledge Exchange Offices have been funded to support their academic community.

Breakout B: Small teams, big impact

This session will look at the different ways Knowledge Exchange teams have focused their resources to build value to existing interactions, create additional projects, instigated academic culture change and created knowledge exchange income.

Breakout C: RCUK, KTPs and Innovate UK….done all that……how else can I fund Knowledge Exchange projects….?

From back to basics with consultancy through to new funding ideas this session will explore how non-traditional sources of income that have been used to fund Knowledge Exchange funding.


This theme explores knowledge exchange in creative practice and the potential impact of creative practice in evolving knowledge exchange practice.

Exploring how advances in disciplines involving making and design challenge and develop KE models, this theme also explores what KE practitioners in other disciplines might learn from or incorporate from successful examples of KE in creative practice areas.

Breakout A: Fab Labs and the rise of the maker movement

The UK has witnessed an explosion of makerspaces, fablabs, hackerspaces and community workshops, many of them based at Universities.

This workshop will explore this phenomenon and what it means for traditional notions of KE particular in respect to design, entrepreneurship, fabrication, manufacturing, and technological innovation.

Breakout B: Design Thinking – formulating your offer 

With KE performance in the spotlight, the need to innovate in KE delivery to demonstrate relevance and responsiveness is ever stronger.

Against that backdrop, this interactive session aims to explore the potential of applying user-led design thinking to KE delivery to improve service delivery and value to our stakeholders.  

Breakout C: KE practice insights from the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. 

What might KE practitioners from other disciplines learn from engagement and innovation in Arts, Humanities and Social Science fields?

Through exploring examples, there will be opportunity to reflect on the elements contributing to success and how these might influence KE practice in other fields.