The EngD impact - key findings published
(26 November 2013) - The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) postgraduate qualification has made a profound difference to the career prospects of enrolled researchers, and delivered tangible benefits to industrial sponsors including new knowledge, products, processes and patents. The key findings of research funded by the EPSRC and the Association of Engineering Doctorates and undertaken by Manchester Business School were presented at the AEngD national conference in London today.
The six-month pilot study, led by Dr Fumi Kitagawa, lecturer in enterprise studies at Manchester Business School, aimed to understand the various forms of impact which EngD programmes have made over the years on both research engineers and their industry sponsors.
The study identified five main areas of impact:
- generation of new knowledge - "increased in-house knowledge and research outcomes in the short/mid-term, as well as a long-term approach to technology problem solution and business change."
- innovation-related outputs and outcomes - these included licensing of patents, formation of spin-out companies, new product/service development, new market entry, business process improvements and faster time to market.
- pan-industry knowledge networks and collaboration - "Knowledge generated by one firm often diffuses into the industry as a whole through collaborative relationships, through supply chains or through movement of human capital."
- human capital and skills development - EngD research enhanced REs career paths, industrial partners' skills and the pool of talented future leaders across a sector
- economic benefits - Examples include EngD researchers identifying annual cost savings for sponsors of £2.4m and £3.0m, and a patented therapy eventually valued at £20 billion; for every pound invested by EPSRC, one centre identified a further £1.77 industry investment in EngD research.
An executive summary of the research is available for download. The full study, currently being finalised, will be available shortly.
During the study undertaken from April to October 2013, the project team developed a conceptual framework to define and understand the 'impact' of EngDs. Using this 'evaluative map', it collected evidence to demonstrate various forms of impacts, interviewing Centre directors and managers, REs, alumni and industry sponsors, and researching materials and publications provided by the IDCs/EngD centres.
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