First KEF release shows diverse contributions of universities and helps drive improvement

Information about the ways universities help level up their local areas is one of the highlights of the data released in the first iteration of Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) today (31 March 2021).

The data, available on the KEF’s interactive and detailed new website, informs a series of metrics that look at the performance of English higher education providers from a variety of perspectives, including public and community engagement, working with partners ranging from big businesses to small local firms, and how they commercialise their research.

For The University of Manchester, the KEF results demonstrate our achievements across the full range of knowledge exchange activities benchmarked against the UK’s leading research-intensive universities. We particularly welcome the recognition of our sector-leading performance on research partnerships and on public and community engagement. You can view each university’s performances on the KEF dashboards.

Our position on research partnerships performance recognises our collaborative research with partners in business and the public sector, also reflected in a strong showing for working with business and with the public and third sectors.

The leading position in public engagement encompasses our achievements in volunteering, mutual partnerships, citizen science, festivals, widening participation, policy engagement, patient involvement in research, and engagement with communities through our cultural institutions.

We are well ahead of the average for our cluster in skills enterprise and entrepreneurship which measures continuing and professional development and graduate start-up businesses supported by the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre. Our all-round performance is completed by recognition of our contribution to local growth and regeneration [University of Manchester KEF narrative statements] and our rapidly increasing rate of IP commercialisation via the University’s Innovation Factory.

Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Luke Georghiou commented: “Knowledge exchange is a core priority for the University of Manchester. We shall continue to ensure that our research, teaching and social responsibility activities benefit the economy and society at local, national and global levels.”

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