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Evaluation of KIT-OUT the Park


KIT-OUT the Park supports activities involving technology transfer from Glasgow Caledonian University’s knowledge base to companies operating within the tourism industry. The overall aim of the project is to enhance the performance of existing tourism related businesses through the adoption of new technologies, focusing on engaging businesses that have not been involved with the higher education (HE) sector before, nor have been actively engaged with investment in R&D technology. The evaluation aimed to assess: the impact in relation to the knowledge/technology transfer activities of Glasgow Caledonian University; the impact on companies (SMEs), organisations and individuals who have participated in events and activities organised or supported by the project; the success of the project in meeting its main objectives, aims and targets; and scope for the future development of the KIT-OUT methodology.


The study involved four key stages: review of performance data; workshop with project staff; survey and consultations with businesses that have engaged with KIT-OUT; and consultations with university staff and other key stakeholders.


KIT-OUT has already met or exceeded the majority of output targets six months ahead of the end of the funding period; it has performed particularly well in terms of the volume of SMEs involved; it has been less successful at linking SMEs to other funding opportunities linked to larger scale innovation/R&D projects; and so far over £1m in additional revenue has been secured for the university. It is found that KIT-OUT fills a gap in the support provided to tourism SMEs, not just in terms of R&D/innovation support but also broader business development support. With regard to the impact on businesses, the university and other stakeholders, the project has introduced R&D and innovation support to a business community that would not have otherwise had access to it; cultural barriers between tourism SMEs and academia have been broken down; staff within the university have been given the opportunity to engage in knowledge transfer activity that is facilitated for them; the profile of the university has been raised amongst the tourism business community in the West of Scotland; and it offers business development agencies a resource into which to refer their clients that did not previously exist. It is suggested that there is evidence to show that the support provided by KIT-OUT is likely to continue to generate impacts on turnover and employment in the business that it has worked with for some time.


No recommendations are offered at this stage but a number of lessons are highlighted that can be taken to help inform future knowledge transfer activities across the university, including that a focused approach, targeted on a specific sector and geography, can bear fruit in terms of engaging SMEs with no previous history of working with universities.

Author Slims Consulting
Published Year 2010
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Sectors