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.
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 20 HEIs from across the clusters.