Managing Knowledge in Nuclear Research and Development Organizations

International Expert Group Discusses Knowledge Management Practices for R&D

27 November 2007 - Experts from national and international research organizations in 13 Member States metat the IAEA's Headquarters in Vienna on 19-23 November 2007 to discuss knowledge management (KM) for nuclear research and development(NR&D) organizations, and present effective KM activities in NR&D in their countries. The key objective of this technical meeting wasto develop a guidance document for stakeholders in NR&D in Member States, since the IAEA has been requested to provide practicalguidance specific to the sector.

Hands-on work at the meeting:
drafting the guidance document

Knowledge management in nuclear research and development has some distinctive features, and they will be addressedin this guidance publication. "The product of nuclear R&D is, generally speaking, 'knowledge', and it addresses key demands andsocietal responsibilities" says Ms. Marie-Laure Ruyssen, who heads the IAEA's Knowledge Management Group and served as ScientificSecretary of the technical meeting. "There is a need to preserve this knowledge, and since its creation was publicly funded, publicmoney should not be invested again to recreate such knowledge. That is why managing nuclear knowledge is so important" Ms. Ruyssenadds. Governments are often the major stakeholders in this area.

The experts emphasized that executives should take responsibility for initiating knowledge management. Seniormanagement should be aware that there are risks, benefits and obligations involved, and that there are consequences if knowledge isnot managed effectively. Also, there should be a strategic alignment between an organization's overall strategy and the objectives ofknowledge management. Thus the publication will also discuss practical methods of how to develop and implement a knowledge managementstrategy in the NR&D sector."The three elements in an implementation methodology are people, processes and tools", Ms. Ruyssenstresses.

The new guidance document is intended for senior managers and executives in research and development organizationsin the nuclear sector who are responsible for developing and maintaining nuclear knowledge and competencies of the workers in theirorganizations. It will be published in mid-2008.

Participants in the Technical Meeting on Knowledge Management
in Nuclear Research and Development Organizations,
IAEA, 19?23 November 2007

Contact: Ms. Marie-Laure Ruyssen, Leader, Knowledge Maintenance Group, INIS and NuclearKnowledge Management Section