Knowledge Exchange Skills

Skills for 21st Century Knowledge Exchange

March 2021


Based on qualitative social research, this study systematically develops a future-oriented skillset for knowledge exchange and innovation experts working at innovation organizations. Through semi-structured expert interviews with a diverse range of stakeholders, we collect data on the capabilities, knowledge, and competencies necessary for successful knowledge exchange activities with a focus on engineering.

The research design is based on the hypothesis that academic qualification should include academic expertise and soft skills, as well as additional knowledge exchange skills. Students require those skills to address so-called Grand Challenges and wicked problems of globalized societies in the 21st century. The skills allow students to recognize systemic interdependencies and correlations, and to link individual processes to larger-scale scenarios. For this purpose, this study develops the evidence base for curricula on knowledge transfer that are to be embedded in higher education programs, in particular for STEM subjects. We have developed a prototypical curriculum in the form of the course Engineering for Impact – Verantwortungsvolle Innovationen. The course allows students of TU Berlin to acquire additional qualifications to prepare them for emerging job requirements.


The study will be published. A prototypical course for higher education has been developed.

Thies Johannsen

Study Lead
TU Berlin