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   
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. The outcomes of the consultation and pilot exercise will be published in 2020. 
 
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.

Major review of the HE-BCI data set: phase one open.

HE-BCI is a key source of data and information about universities’ 'third stream' activities (those undertaken alongside research and teaching) that has been collected for well over a decade. The data collection covers: institutional strategy, business and community services, engagement with society, intellectual property, spin-off businesses, and regeneration and development. HE-BCI data informs institutional HEIF allocations and is a building block of the current KEF model. 

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

The announcements, which were made at Research England’s Engagement Forum in London (26th September), confirm the place of Knowledge Exchange alongside teaching and research as a core university mission. This underpins the central role given to KE in the Government’s Industrial Strategy (2017).

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.  

Business-Community Interaction income reaches a record £4.5 billion

The 2017-18 HE Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) data has been released today as an open data set by HESA. Headlines are highly positive, with year-on-year increases in all categories except consultancy, bringing the UK total to a record £4.5 billion. The highly scrutinised area of IP income shows strong growth with an increase of around 40% to over £200 million.