What are the benefits of Knowledge Exchange for businesses and universities?

What are the benefits of Knowledge Exchange for businesses and universities?
Find out how Knowledge Exchange drives university and business partnerships and innovation. Img Source: RAEng/Unsplash

In our latest guide, we take a look at some of the most valuable benefits of participating in Knowledge Exchange activities.

In a nutshell, Knowledge Exchange (KE) is a process that brings together different parties to exchange ideas, evidence, and expertise.  

According to ATTP Knowledge Exchange (KE), otherwise known as Knowledge Transfer (KT) and Technology Transfer (TT), is a collaborative, creative endeavour that translates knowledge and research into impact in society and the economy.

In the higher education setting, this change often involves academic staff, researchers, businesses, charities, and wider groups and communities.

The point of Knowledge Exchange activities is to have a transformative impact leading to things such as the invention of cool new products, improved policies and processes, and improved skills.

So, does KE include sharing cool facts with your friends? Well, not strictly. When we talk about KE in relation to higher education, it’s all about developing ideas that:

  1. Occur between researchers and businesses/wider communities, using skill and creativity
  2. Mutually benefit partners
  3. Mobilise knowledge into action
  4. Lead to innovation or improvement in some way

Knowledge Exchange also includes a wide range of activities including but not limited to:

  • Graduate start-ups
  • Community events
  • Consultancy and training
  • Collaborative projects

What’s the value of Knowledge Exchange?

So, you might be wondering what the point of KE is. Is it really something that’s worth getting involved in? The answer? Yes! Knowledge Exchange offers many benefits to everyone involved.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the value of Knowledge Exchange for both universities and businesses.

For businesses

Access world-class knowledge and expertise: If you’re looking to innovate and grow your business, participating in a KE project with a university might just get you there. Universities have a wealth of knowledge and talent, from passionate students to world-class academic researchers and professors. Not to mention the amazing facilities and latest equipment available at your fingertips at academic premises! You can tap into this melting pot of talent and ideas to help develop a new product, process, or just give you a fresh perspective on things. And with your support as an industry partner, you can generate groundbreaking results that benefit both parties.

Find the best graduate talent: Your business could tap into the talent of new graduates from academia at all levels. Knowledge Exchange activities include things such as providing students with work placements and opportunities. As a business, you can benefit from the fresh insights from eager graduates looking to make their mark in the industry. Students will also benefit from gaining strong experience and mentorship from your company.

Help shape the future: Some of the most groundbreaking ideas come from the collaboration of universities and businesses. As researchers focus on solving real-world problems, the input of businesses, charities, or public sector organisations is vital. With your help, you can truly make a colossal impact in your sector.

Businesses can access top talent through the collaboration with universities on KE activities. Img source: Joshua Hoehne / Unsplash

For universities

Strengthen your academic profile: As a result of transferring the knowledge generated by research to other businesses, sectors, charities, or the wider community, you can raise the profile of your university - both nationally and internationally!

Access more funding: KE collaborations have the potential to open up a range of new funding opportunities, whether that’s direct funding from the collaborating party or from the variety of funding sources aimed at promoting Knowledge Exchange activities. The funding you may access here could also count toward your income targets!

Support local and act sustainably: Not only does partnering with the sector bring ample opportunities to exchange knowledge and collaborate on new ideas, but it also allows universities to research sustainably and support local businesses. This is particularly valuable in a post-Covid era, where many small businesses are fragile and are in need of nurturing to support development and sustain growth. Together, universities and local businesses can create a positive impact, both locally and globally.

Test the practical application of your research: For academics, the ability to work with the industry is so important when it comes to testing their research in real-world applications and settings. It’s only then that they can get a full picture of whether or not the research will have tangible impacts.

Female civil engineer presents theme park ride mechanics
KE enables institutions to gather actionable industry feedback and to apply its research in real-world settings: Img source: ThisisEngineering RAEng / Unsplash

Hopefully, by now you understand some of the wonderful benefits associated with Knowledge Exchange for both universities and businesses. And the best bit is, the the list doesn’t end here! Both institutions and industries have so much to gain from these collaborative partnerships.

For businesses, collaborating with higher education institutions enables them access to expertise, talent, research, and cutting-edge equipment to drive innovation and strengthen their competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace.

For institutions, working with businesses can help to increase funding, keep them on top of the changing market and industry trends, and get valuable feedback on research.

It's a win-win for both!

Find out how KEVRI software optimises university and businesses Knowledge Exchange by reaching out to our team today at info@kevri.co!



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!