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Vol. LVIII, No. 5
March 10, 2006

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Knowledge Management Symposium Draws Interest

More than 600 people participated in the first NIH knowledge management symposium, "Knowledge in Service to Health: Leveraging Knowledge for Modern Science Management," on Feb. 6, sponsored by the Office of Extramural Research.

The symposium was designed to prepare NIH for a new era in science management and knowledge discovery — an era when decisions throughout the scientific enterprise will increasingly depend on more effective communication, collaboration, innovation and information analyses.

Dr. Norka Ruiz Bravo, NIH deputy director for extramural research, said, "We must identify new approaches to systematically support staff development, collaboration and the application of our intellectual capital to enhance our business processes, promote innovation and facilitate knowledge discovery." She added, "NIH is committed to facilitating and supporting knowledge exchange and discovery to identify new solutions and to develop future strategies that advance the nation's health."

KM is a set of systematic processes by which knowledge, mostly hidden in the brains of individuals, is created, captured and shared to advance the mission of an organization.

The symposium presented a cross-section of the knowledge management field and touched on the following areas: facilitating collaboration to bring new ideas into play; discovering new knowledge by understanding the connections among vast amounts of information; improving science management and predicting opportunities using unstructured text mining; and new visualization and communication techniques that convey knowledge derived from complex data sets.