2022 Reflections: The UK Knowledge Exchange Sector

2022 Reflections: The UK Knowledge Exchange Sector
Discover key updates from this people-led, innovative and collaborative sector. Img Source: Jason Goodman/ Unsplash

What a year for the Knowledge Exchange sector!

From January right through to December, we have kept a close eye on key UK Knowledge Exchange updates.

So let's take a look back on a few of these 2022 KE highlights together...

Research England (RE) announced an increase in Knowledge Exchange funding!

In August 2022, Research England released a Grant Allocations report for the 22/23 academic year.

Alongside an increase in the HEIF formula funding, the total Knowledge Exchange funding for 22/23 academic year is a whopping £328 million! (See Table A in this release)

Student KE is on the rise

Since the Office for Students (OfS) and Research England (RE) jointly awarded 20 higher education providers a share of £10 million to explore the impact of student involvement in knowledge exchange, we've seen a rise in Student KE projects.

Open collaboration and shared ideas are crucial to KE. Img Source: Microsoft/Unsplash

As OfS Chief Executive of OfS Nicola Dandridge said in 2019:

“This funding competition will help identify the best ways for students – especially those from underrepresented backgrounds – to get involved in activities at their universities that will benefit them, their communities and the economy.”

Fast forward to 2022, there have been some incredible student KE initiatives run by award winners such as The University of Plymouth, The University of Exeter and more!

KEF 2 and KEF 3 made a debut

The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) is evolving.  

As UKRI outlines:

The first iteration of the KEF was published in March 2021 and subsequently Research England undertook a full review, seeking input from the sector and other users.

The review led to technical changes to the underpinning methodology for the metrics being made for the second iteration (KEF2) published in September 2022. It also outlined proposed amendments to be made to the templates and guidance for the narrative statements for inclusion in the third iteration (KEF3) to be published in 2023.

Read the KEF 2 Decisions Document here

Read the KEF 3 Narrative Statement Guidance here

Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity in KE

Throughout the years, increased emphasis has been placed on EDI within Knowledge Exchange.

There were some great discussions, webinars and workshops on EDI within the KE sector this year, especially from PraxisAuril and ASTP.

In April 2022, ASTP also hosted its first international meeting on  Strategies for Strengthening Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in KT:

REF results highlighted incredible KE-centric research

As UKRI outlines, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) provides a robust and thorough assessment of the quality of universities’ research in all disciplines, providing accountability for public investment in research and demonstrating the benefits of that investment.

The REF 2021 results that were published in May 2022 highlight the true breadth of Research and Knowledge Exchange activity happening across the UK higher education sector.

At KEVRI, we want to help more institutions capture and share those stories through our tool and bespoke case studies.

Knowledge Exchange champions unite!

At KEVRI we love to celebrate Knowledge Exchange champions. Otherwise known as 'edupreneurs'.

In 2022, we had the pleasure of meeting many edupreneurs across the higher education sector- and we look forward to meeting more in 2023!

February: We gathered insights on Falmouth University's Reporting Earth Knowledge Exchange project. This collaborative project encouraged emerging journalists to generate actionable ideas to help tackle the climate crisis, and it achieved incredible social reach on Twitter!

April: We had the pleasure of interviewing Interface Online Knowledge Exchange Champion winner Professor Murray Pittock who has made an outstanding contribution to Knowledge Exchange through various projects.

September: We collaborated with Ravensbourne University London Director of Innovation, Industry, and Enterprise Lawrence Lartey to produce KEVRI case studies from our tool and reveal KE insights on Ravensbourne's recent projects.

For instance, Lawrence's Obama Foundation Student Knowledge Exchange initiative and the Ravensbourne University Head of Design Derek Yate's KICKSTART! platform.

December: We met with Northumbria University Associate Professor Dr Matt Sutherland who co-hosts the Why Small Business Matters podcast. Matt is an edupreneur to watch!  

During his tenure at Northumbria University, Matt has generated over £4m of enterprise income via major KE interventions with SMEs. This includes BEIS funding (Business Basics), Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), ERDF funding and more!

We will also be publishing an insightful interview with PraxisAuril Winner and KE Champion Professor Kate Black in the new year, so keep a close eye on KEVRI Insight!

Ultimately, this list is just one snapshot of a much bigger picture of the UK's Knowledge Exchange landscape.

And here at KEVRI, we're excited to see what 2023 brings for this people-led, collaborative and innovative sector- both in the UK and beyond!



KEVRI is a collaborative software platform and consultancy that helps you surface innovation at your organisation and support impact pipelines. Email us at info@kevri.co to find out more!