Knowledge translation may be a new term to you, although it’s used in other industries such as health care as an integral part of research outcomes. So, what exactly is knowledge translation? According to Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) “Knowledge translation (KT) is defined as a dynamic and iterative process that includes synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically-sound application of knowledge to improve the health of Canadians, provide more effective health services and products and strengthen the health care system.Here’s a quick video to illustrate how knowledge about a problem doesn’t necessarily mean change to solve it. https://vimeo.com/45757954
What about Agriculture? As a scientist, farmer, agrologist, adviser, research assistant, communication specialist, sales professional, industry rep, veterinarian, (the list goes on) you are impacted by research in agriculture. How you fit in the research ‘value chain’ differs for each one of these roles but none the less, you are impacted by research in some capacity. It’s important to understand how you fit into what’s happening in a culture where technology moves fast and innovation is speeding up. How do you keep up? Where or who do you turn to for information? Are you getting the latest and greatest knowledge to share with clients and co-workers? Are you keeping pace?
OMAFRA has created a simple webpage with Knowledge Translation strategies targeted for Agriculture. Here’s the link: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/research/ktt/kttplan/buildkttplan.htm#whybuild. It’s important to note that the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has identified knowledge translation and transfer as an essential piece of research and innovation. What good is the research, the funding dollars, the outcomes, if no one is aware of the potential impact and results created. Make knowledge transfer and translation a priority in your work, no matter where you fit in the ‘value chain’. And if you are using KTT strategies please share!