Knowledge Exchange Framework highlights university’s commitment to working with partners for the benefit of all


October 17th, 2022

Nottingham has been reaffirmed as one of England’s leading universities for working collaboratively with industry and the public sector and the commercialisation of Intellectual Property (IP), as part of our mission to share knowledge and expertise for the benefit of all.

Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) is a survey of how universities work with external partners for the benefit of the economy and society.

Its second iteration (KEF2) further demonstrates the University of Nottingham’s commitment to knowledge exchange with our partners and collaborators across seven perspectives, including working with partners ranging from big businesses to small local firms, commercialisation of our IP and working with the public and third sectors.

Working with business

Data from KEF2 confirms that the university is among the very best in the country for working with business. We have supported thousands of businesses through programmes such as Productivity Through Innovation, business incubators including the University of Nottingham Innovation Park and industry research projects such as our two Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres.

We provide access to our facilities, equipment and expertise to businesses and SMEs and develop incubator and growth spaces for small businesses in locations that encourage interaction with our researchers. Our partnerships with business range from flavour scientists helping create the perfect crisp to expanding the capabilities of precision engineering specialists Advanex Europe.

Commercialisation of IP

The University has 268 live licence deals with industry, with more than half of these deals being secured with small to medium enterprises.

In addition we have a current portfolio of 29 spinout companies, managed by our subsidiary Nottingham Technology Ventures (NTV). These companies are developing commercial applications for our inventions in fields ranging from nanomaterials to neonatal monitoring, additive manufacturing to early cancer detection.

The University has established a £5m Invention Fund, which invests in university spin-out companies alongside external investors, to support their development and growth. Our portfolio companies raised £153m in external investment last year.

Working with the public and third sector

Universities for Nottingham – a pioneering collaboration bringing together the combined strength of Nottingham’s two world-class universities – underlines our civic mission and commitment to work with local partners to improve prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for our communities.

The Ingenuity programme and the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship forges partnerships with the public and third sector and is second in the Russell Group for the number of social enterprises it has helped to create.

Our university and Nottingham Lakeside Arts play a leading role in supporting the cultural, sporting and artistic activities that enrich lives, and knowledge shared by our researchers has informed some of the region’s most significant exhibitions and public engagement events, from the landmark Dinosaurs of China and Viking: Rediscover the Legend exhibitions, to the centrepiece Rebellion galleries of a Heritage Lottery-funded transformation at Nottingham Castle.

The Institute for Policy and Engagement supports our academics in reaching new audiences and into communities, deepening the reach and impact of their research – our discoveries have informed legislation affecting every UK citizen, from road safety to protecting consumers to keeping children safer online.

KEF’s interactive website includes a dashboard where the University of Nottingham’s sector-leading performance can be viewed alongside those of other universities.

Professor Neil Crout, interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, welcomed Nottingham’s sector-leading performance in IP and commercialisation and working with business and the public and third sector.

He said: “The sharing of knowledge is a core priority of our mission as a research-intensive university. KEF is an opportunity for universities to demonstrate how we support key regional and national priorities of sustainable economic growth and how our partnerships with the communities we serve deliver real impact on people’s lives.”

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