Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF)

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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, GuildHE, 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 2015. 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 HE-BCI data collection (see 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 also has piloted an alternative approach to KE measurement with its Collaboration Progress Monitor, which draws on sources of publicly available data to observe trends across 15 metrics. This is updated annually and published alongside the State of the Relationship report
PraxisAuril's main contact for KEF-related matters is Tamsin Mann, Head of Policy. You can find KEF comment from her on the Wonkhe website and within NCUB's 2019 State of the Relationship report. 
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, including a pilot, in January 2019 which has now concluded.  
Key deadlines 
  • The KE Cocordat (KEC) consultation closed on July 1 2019. You can find more information on the UUK website where news on the consultation findings will be published in due course. 
  • The KEF metrics consultation closed on March 14 2019. Pilot institution workshops then took place. Outputs from the consultation and pilots were published in September 2019 (see below).