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Exeter was also ranked in the top 40 per cent for both research collaborations with business, and for commercial activity. 

Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) launches

The University of Exeter’s commitment to providing key benefits to business, society and the economy has been recognised in a comprehensive national assessment. Each year, the University works with partners on more than 2,000 projects across key sectors.  

New data from the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), governed by UKRI, has highlighted how the University’s knowledge creation impacts on society and industry, both nationally and worldwide. 

The latest results, published today in the KEF dashboard, show that the University of Exeter is ranked in the top 20 per cent of its benchmarked group (large, high-research intensive and broad-discipline universities) in three different categories – research partnerships, local growth and regeneration, and public and community engagement. 

Exeter was also ranked in the top 40 per cent for both research collaborations with business, and for commercial activity.  

The framework is designed so that universities can judge their success against their priority areas of collaboration. Because Exeter has focused less on skills training for businesses its lowest rank was scored in this category.

Exeter provides R&D, education and growth solutions with a total value of £72M for organisations from start-ups and SMEs, to multi-nationals, NGOs and government agencies. 

The University’s business acceleration services are delivered with SETsquared, the World’s number 1 University Business incubator and with Exeter Science Park while there are also 20 active, academic–led spin-outs and 1,500 student entrepreneurs supported annually. 

Sean Fielding, Director of Innovation, Impact and Business at the University of Exeter said: “This is the first time the national data has been presented in this way and it’s great to see the areas where Exeter’s strengths shine through and others where there is more to be done.” 

The KEF aims to measure how effectively higher education providers were working with businesses, serving the economy, supporting their communities, and benefitting the wider public.  

It sits alongside the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the Research Excellence Framework (REF) to help provide a complete assessment of the work conducted by universities. 

Date: 31 March 2021

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