What is Knowledge Exchange (KE)?

What is Knowledge Exchange (KE)?
Knowledge Exchange is a collaborative and creative endeavour. Image: Cristina Wocintech/ Unsplash

Thereโ€™s a lot more to โ€˜Knowledge Exchangeโ€™ in higher education than simply exchanging knowledge...

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.

As ATTP outlines, this global definition combines three elements that form the essential process for effective transfer or exchange of knowledge or technology:

๐Ÿ“Œ using skill and creativity to collaborate with partners
๐Ÿ“Œ effectively translating and mobilising output from knowledge generators
๐Ÿ“Œ leading to benefits and impact

And whatโ€™s interesting about this concept is that KEVRI discovered that many academic staff and students already organise and participate in many Knowledge Exchange activities but may not realise that the work they are already doing counts as KE, KT or TT.

What counts as a Knowledge Exchange activity?

Activities such as these count as KE:

๐Ÿ“Œ Graduate spin-out companies
๐Ÿ“Œ Public exhibitions
๐Ÿ“Œ Entrepreneurship education courses
๐Ÿ“Œ Curriculum development
๐Ÿ“Œ School projects
๐Ÿ“Œ Consultancy
๐Ÿ“Œ Community events (sports, arts, heritage etc.)
๐Ÿ“Œ Prototyping and testing new technologies

You may have already done a few of these in your career thus far. Or you plan to do some in the upcoming academic year.

To find more types of Knowledge Exchange activities, check out this technical report written by UCI Policy Evidence Unit Director Tomas Coates Ulrichsen or this Research England report on the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF).

Why is Knowledge Exchange important?

Knowledge Exchange exists in many academic, community, and business-based activities, why is it beneficial for you to track your KE activities?

1) Optimise your engagement ๐Ÿ“ข

While at university, why not optimise your academic knowledge and exchange it with local communities and businesses? Organising or partaking in more Knowledge Exchange activities could raise your academic profile and perhaps encourage others collaborate with you on your projects.

2) Increase funding opportunities ๐Ÿ’ฐ

By capturing your Knowledge Exchange activities and sharing these with your university, you will support your university's external funding opportunities. For instance, you could assist your universityโ€™s Knowledge Exchange practitioners with their annual Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) submissions.

3) Make a real-world impact ๐ŸŒŽ

Most significantly, increased Knowledge Exchange means increased social impact! With every KE activity there's a story to share. Support local and act sustainably by engaging with your surrounding communities and businesses.



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!