Funding for this research was provided by:
Text and Data Mining valid from 2017-10-06
First Online: 6 October 2017
Compliance with ethical standards
: Part of the data, clearly identified in the Methodology Section of this paper, was collected as part of an externally funded project funded by the EU, under the INTERREG IVC Programme. The author was the lead investigator. There are no financial conflicts of interest. Regarding non-financial conflicts of interest, it must be reported here that the author was employed by one of five higher education institutions located in Greater Manchester and examined. The author was in the employment of the University during part of the data collection process (the INTERREG IVC element in particular). This was a large organisation employing (at the time) around 1000 staff and the author did not have any personal involvement (or interest) in commercialisation and or contract research with commercial organisations (the pathways at the heart of this study). This was also the case for the academic department where he worked. No interviews were conducted with academic or support staff of the department where the author worked. The author worked at a different higher education institution when the remainder of the data was collected, analysed, and the paper was written up. Part of the data were collected through interviews with pro vice-chancellors, academics, and business support professionals, R&D managers in enterprises and policy decision makers. They provided information of their experiences of knowledge generation and transfer (in the employment roles they performed). Thus, a modest amount of personal and no medical data was collected. When initial contacted was established, the participants were informed of their ability to decline to participate in whole or part of the interview process or withdraw conset at any time. A statement (reiterating these points) was also read to participants prior to the conduct of the interview and their explicit consent was sought.