Knowledge Exchange Framework

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Knowledge Exchange Framework

Knowledge Exchange (KE) is:

a set of activities, processes and skills that enable close collaboration between universities and non-academic partners to deliver commercial, environmental, cultural and societal benefits, opportunities for students and economic growth” (KE Concordat consultation, May 2019).

Announced in 2017 and led by Research England, the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) will form the third pillar of assessment of university activities, alongside the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Alongside KEF, Universities will also sign up to a Knowledge Exchange Concordat (KEC) of good principles and practice, confirming their intention to embed KE in the institution.

UKRI webpage
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KEF Perspectives:

The KEF assesses a university’s KE activities, through narrative and metric data, under seven broad ‘Perspectives’:

  1. Research Partnerships;
  2. Working with Business;
  3. Working with the Public and Third Sector;
  4. Skills, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship;
  5. Local Growth and Regeneration;
  6. Intellectual Property (IP) and Commercialisation;
  7. Public and Community Engagement.

Purpose of the KEF

1.    To enable universities to better understand, benchmark and improve their performance in KE activities;

2.    To help business and other users access the world-class knowledge and expertise embedded in English HEPs;

3.    To increase efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public funding for KE.

Participation in KEF is expected to be a condition of funding from academic year 2020-21.

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KEF at Kent

The KEF aims to provide institutions with new ways to understand, benchmark and improve their knowledge exchange performance, and to provide business and other users of HEI knowledge with a source of potentially useful information.

A strong result, recognising and celebrating our achievements, is vital for Kent to demonstrate that we are committed to KE for the benefit of the economy and society.

The central team responsible for delivery of KEF will be running a series of workshops to ensure everyone is fully informed about the KEF and what it means for you. 


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Numerous and amazing examples of KE activity are taking place across the University, from the outreach work of the Gulbenkian to our new Medical School – Kent embodies the values of the KEF.

Carole Barron, Director of Knowledge Exchange & Innovation
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KE in practice

Successful knowledge exchange activities.

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Contact us:

Contact the KEF team directly.