The POND Network Knowledge Translation & Exchange System (KTE)

preschooler with wooden blocksKnowledge translation (KT) is about raising knowledge users’ awareness of research findings and helping them to make use of them. Knowledge producers have traditionally been scientists who do research to satisfy their own curiosity and then publish their findings in specialist journals. Knowledge users were usually other academics or clinicians who read the journals. They could see what other people in their own field were doing, use the findings to inform their own research, or use it change their own practices. Knowledge Translation & Exchange (KTE) changes that by adding other dimensions. More and more, persons with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs), their families, and other community members are asking for research that addresses their real-world problems and researchers are responding to those demands. There is also another component of KTE: moving research into practice by involving industry partners whose skills and technologies can find new targets for therapies and develop therapies that address them.

One of the POND Network’s primary goals is to significantly increase Ontario’s ability to address neurodevelopmental disorders by increasing awareness and knowledge about these conditions. We are now engaged in training the next generation of researchers and clinicians. We also are doing this by providing up-to-date information about NDs through the POND website, newsletters provided to relevant stakeholders, and presentations at scientific and community meetings.

Our Patient Advisory Committee PAC, researchers, and our partnerships are all fostering collaboration among parents, practitioners, researchers, policy?makers, and children/youth with NDs. They also have a role in ensuring that the voice of the “ND community” is heard by the network researchers. We are expanding efforts to ensure two-way communication between researchers and the community by partnering with Squag™. This collaboration will create a secure platform using social media to develop a safe environment in which children with NDs, their parents and families, and investigators can interact.

Through regular teleconferences, online cooperation and face-to-face meetings we are establishing and maintaining knowledge exchange links with other major ND research teams from around the world, such as EU?AIMS, a collaborative researching treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Another goal is to establish collaboration with the NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project to translate rapid progress in basic neurobiological and behavioral research to an improved understanding of psychopathology and the development of new treatments for mental and neurodevelopmental disorders. This will be achieved through regular teleconferences, online collaboration and face to face meetings.

Through these many activities, KTE system will be translating the POND Network’s cutting?edge research findings and disseminating the evidence derived from them to frontline stakeholders working to improve the lives of children with NDs in Ontario, Canada, and the rest of the world.