To raise awareness about the importance of valorisation and the activities of the STEM Valorise project, the consortium partners held a free event during UIIN’s annual conference. Taking advantage of an opportunity to present to a live audience, STEM Valorise consortium partners engaged university staff, academics and educators in discussions around valorisation in STEM disciplines. Topics included an introduction to the project itself, what valorisation looks like and the impact it can have, how to develop a training programme that instils the necessary skills and knowledge for valorisation.
STEM Valorise project: Empowering for Impact
Dr Zeynep Erden Bayazit discussed the importance of impact and the role of the STEM Valorise in helping researchers realised their valorisation potential. Nina Brankovic enlightened the audience on what valorisation means and the different pathways that can be taken to valorise one’s work. It was clear that there is no one-size-fits-all pathway for researchers to take and that each case must be considered individually. In terms of training, Dr Balzhan Orazbayeva outlined what is required to develop a framework for teaching valorisation skills, emphasising the research and insights that were gathered from valorisation champions and existing training programmes for researchers. Catherine Hayward provided some examples of programmes and organisations that bring valorisation to the forefront and focus on the impact that researchers could have.
One of the speakers, Nina Brankovic also posed an interesting philosophical question, as to whether or not it is the responsibility of all researchers to create societal impact from their work.
The discussion that followed the presentations was engaging and the audience was clearly enthused about the topic of valorisation. It is also hoped that some of the attendees will draw participants to the STEM Valorise training programme, or take part themselves. One of the benefits of in-person events is the potential for engagement with the audience and the conversations that happen after-the-fact, that spur collaboration between like-minded individuals.
With a turn out of more than 30 attendees, the event was a testament to the increasing interest and need for valorisation in STEM and in other disciplines as well.