Knowledge Translation and
The goal of Knowledge Translation and Transfer is to accelerate
the transformation of knowledge from research into use.
On this page:
KTT stands for Knowledge Translation
and Transfer. At OMAFRA, it is defined as the transformation
of knowledge into use through synthesis, exchange, dissemination,
dialogue, collaboration and brokering among researchers and research
KTT at OMAFRA
Since 2008, Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT) have been
integrated into OMAFRA's
research funding programs. In 2009 the Agri-food
and Rural Link KTT Program was launched at the University of
Guelph under the OMAFRA-University of Guelph partnership.
The agricultural, food and rural sectors successfully adapt to
changing conditions and societal needs through demand-driven transformation
of knowledge into use.
To help mobilize the unique, synergistic capacities of the research's
various stakeholders in the development of demand-driven research
related to Ontario's agriculture, food and rural sectors and the
acceleration of knowledge produced through that research into use.
Key objectives for KTT in research are:
- That research be developed using a needs-based approach also
known as demand-driven research.
- That knowledge produced in research is used in a timely, effective
The impact of KTT in this research is being considered in three
- Program - Research that is used in traditional agricultural
extension and technology transfer processes to alter programs.
Includes audiences through the entire value chain.
- Policy - Research undertaken to meet gaps in policy and provide
results for use by government as part of the policy development
- Commercialization - Research that has application in the development
or enhancement of a commercially viable product or technology
within the value chain. For the commercialization stream, the
target audience may include businesses with an interest in licensing
or moving the product or technology into the marketplace, as well
as, groups or organizations that facilitate this linkage between
research and the market.
How to Build a Successful KTT Plan
Deliberate planning is key to building a successful KTT plan. The
plan should be flexible so it can evolve as the research progress
evolves. The plan should also emphasize collaboration, partnership
and networks. It should embrace all potential audiences and approaches
of sharing knowledge. Involvement of the end user during the various
research stages and the KTT process is important; the earlier the
Successful KTT plans also require dedicated resources. A knowledge
broker (like OMAFRA staff) can help you share knowledge among researchers
and users. In the most successful KTT plans, the culture around
the research and its users is open, trusting, positive and sharing.
The following five questions will assist you in building a successful
What knowledge (or message) about your research will you transfer
Who would benefit from the knowledge produced by your research?
(there could be more than one target audience and therefore different
research needs and varied KTT methods)
Who should transfer this knowledge to users? (Involvement of research
users in the project - The earlier the better.)
What processes will you use to transfer this knowledge to users?
What is the expected impact of the your KTT efforts?
Researchers are encouraged to use the template that follows in
preparation of their comprehensive KTT plan:
Best Practices of Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT)
The following best practices were compiled from a review of current
literature about the use of research knowledge:
- Knowledge Translation and Transfer (KTT) isn't "let to happen"
it is "made to happen" through a "KTT Plan".
KTT begins at the research planning stage.
- Research user groups are identified, defined and involved in
the research process:
Linkages, associations, partnerships and networks between researchers
and research users are defined and active to allow access to knowledge
and knowledge flow.
Researchers and research users work in close proximity and /
or together on collaborative teams throughout the research process.
Resources are allocated to KTT and research institutions, knowledge
brokers, and knowledge translation and transfer institutions have
the internal capacity and infrastructure to support and engage KTT.
The KTT plan is implemented through timely, user-targeted transfer
There are incentives, recognition and rewards for KTT.
- Understanding your research audiences (users):
- Who are they?
- What are their interests and needs?
- What terms/concepts/language do they understand?
- Key messages - If you could only make three points about
your research to your audience, what would they be?
- What communication form is best for your audience? (i.e.
face to face, social media, policy meetings or journal articles)
Tools and Techniques- From Across the Different Sectors:
Translation 'Toolkit- Bridging the Know-Do Gap: A Resource for
Researchers, (ed) Gavin Bennett and Nasreen Jessani, Sage
India, IDRC/2011-05-13 (international development).
Water Network Advice from Research Users on Facilitating Research
Partnerships (natural resources and the environment).
Research to Practice: A Knowledge Transfer Planning Guide - Institute
for Work and Health (PDF 190kb - health care).
- Canadian Institutes
of Health Research (CIHR) Knowledge Translation and Commercialization
Publications. This includes learning modules, evaluation information,
casebooks and other resources.
- Sick Kids
Foundation Knowledge Translation Training and Tools (health
- Research to Action.
Synthesis, Transfer and Exchange in Agri-Food Public Health: A
Handbook for Science-to-Policy Professionals
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