Only 43 per cent of the almost 22,000 academics questioned for the survey reported having had some contact with these services. The level was lower for academics from top-rated research departments.
The survey, carried out by the Centre for Business Research and the UK- Innovation Research Centre, and published in a report titled The Dual Funding Structure for Research in the UK, also showed that the most common way of initiating activity with external organisations was for individuals not connected with an institution to contact academics directly: 80 per cent of people cited this channel.
The least used route was university technology transfer offices, which were used to strike up activity only 24 per cent of the time.
“Taken as a whole, the relatively low frequency of links initiated through [knowledge transfer offices] reflects the very wide range of external interactions, many of which do not involve KTO mediation,” reads the report, which was produced for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.