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. External investment in spin-outs has reach a record level of £1.4 billion (from £970 million) demonstrating how universities are responding to expectations from Government to drive economic growth, create jobs and increase R&D levels in the UK.  

PraxisAuril will be reviewing the data and commenting on the results for the UK’s knowledge exchange professional community: we would like to congratulate all our members for their continued hard work and creativity to drive knowledge exchange activities with a wide range of stakeholders. PraxisAuril Chair Sean Fielding RTTP said "it is great to see another annual increase in university business collaboration. This is a vote of confidence in UK university expertise and know-how. We lead the World and it’s good to see this recognised by our partners." 

The HE-BCI data forms the basis, currently, of proposed KEF metrics and will itself be subject to review and consultation this year. Although the data provides an important insight into the activities of the university sector, it is increasingly recognised that data for KE needs to be more diverse in order to provide a better understanding of KE dynamics within research organisations and with their collaborators. There is, in particular, a need to recognise low or non-income driven outcomes and impacts. HE-BCI data is one of several data sets that can be used to assess and interpret activity in KE, as the analysis of BBSRC spin-out companies led by Alex Chaix recently demonstrated. 

Data is published in full on the HESA website as interactive tables with machine-readable files available for download and analysis. Data for previous years to 2014/15 is also available.