Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF)

The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) proposes a third pillar of university activity assessment alongside the REF and TEF. It was included as a Government policy in the Industrial Strategy White Paper in 2017. PraxisAuril is engaging proactively on behalf of its members throughout the consultation and implementation process. The KEF is being led by Research England with support from other agencies including UUK, PraxisAuril and the NCUB. 
The KEF is an intitutional-level exercise to inform and assess knowldge exchange activities of UK Higher Education Institutions. It comprises two parts: a KEF Concordat, led by Professor Trevor McMillan (Keele), and KEF metrics exercise led by Professor Richard Jones (Sheffield). It emerges from a longer-standing knowledge exchange framework initiative, started by the (then) HEFCE in January 2016. One of the key outputs of this was the McMillan Review of Technology Transfer which concluded that UK universities were internationally competitive in their technology transfer practice but identified the need for stronger leadership in KE and improved evidence to understand ecosytem and industry sector factors in successful technology transfer. To date, the main measure of knowledge exchange has been the annual HEBCI data collection (see the HESA website). HEIF strategies, for English HEIS in receipt of funding, provide qualitative insight into university KE approaches: a summary review of strategies was commissioned by Research England (then HEFCE, archived web content). The NCUB has piloted an alternative approach with its Collaboration Progress Monitor, which draws on sources of publicly available data to observe trends across 15 metrics. Several reviews of the sector can be found in the Resources section of our website. 
 
The  KEF Timeline   
The outcomes of the consultation and pilot exercise will be published in summer 2020. 
 
An initial consultation on the use of metrics in the KEF concluded in January 2018. You can read PraxisAuril's contribution to the consultation here. A summary of consultation responses and a technical report on the proposed cluster approach was released by Research England in November 2018. This has been followed with a second consultation on the metrics exercise in January 2019 and a pilot exercise involving around 20 HEIs.
 
PraxisAuril's contact for KEF-related matters is Tamsin Mann, Head of Policy. 

Research England report details how the first version of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) will work

Research England has released a report detailing decisions and next steps for the KEF following last year’s consultation and pilot exercises. PraxisAuril is pleased to see that comments and contributions from universities, businesses and other sector stakeholders – including many PraxisAuril members – have been taken into account in the final metrics, narrative information, clusters, eligibility and timelines.

Reflections on the second meeting of the KE Best Practice Group

 

Jennie Shorley, Associate Head for Research and Knowledge Exchange and Academic Impact Lead in the Faculty of Business and Law, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Deputy Chair of the PraxisAuril Professional Development Committee, joined us and ran a workshop on career development for KE professionals.  Adam Crook, from the BEIS Industrial Strategy team also joined and provided an update on the Industrial Strategy, and discussed how universities, and their industrial collaborators, can best position themselves in order to take full advantage of the funding on offer.

HEIF hits new heights as KEF roll-out is confirmed for 2020

 

PraxisAuril has always highlighted the importance of HEIF through its advocacy activities, including in many consultation responses to Government, emphasising its flexibility and power to leverage many other sources of external funding for a wide range of KE activities. It supports not only projects but KE professionals that work at the intersections of research and external audiences; raising awareness of KE as a set of activities that have the potential to engage many different audiences for economic and social benefits.

 

Knowledge Exchange Framework: Outcomes of Consultation and Pilot Exercise

In January 2019 Research England published a consultation on our proposals for the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF).  At the same time it invited English Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to participate in a pilot exercise to test and refine the proposals. The findings contained in the report are being used to inform the ongoing development of the KEF.  

KE Concordat consultation response

 

PraxisAuril and ARMA have submitted a joint response to UUK's consultation on the proposed KE Concordat.

PraxisAuril and ARMA have submitted a joint response to UUK's consultation on the proposed KE Concordat, building on our existing engagement with sector stakeholders including Research England, Innovate UK, NCUB, GuildHE, PraxisAuril, NCCPE and UUK in the development of the KE Framework overall. 

HEIF, KEF and now KEC: welcoming the KE Concordat

Recently there have been multiple discussions about the relationships between multiple different acronyms. The latest 'kid on the block' is KEC - the Knowledge Exchange Concordat - which is published today. This has been developed by a group led by Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, supported by Universities UK and Research England and with contributions from several members of PraxisAuril.