Kent joins Universities from across the UK to contribute to improving knowledge exchange practices

On Tuesday 26 July, the University of Kent’s Knowledge Exchange team chaired the Cluster Group X Summer Catch Up to share experiences, best practice, and tools with knowledge exchange practitioners from other Universities in their Knowledge Exchange Framework cluster.

The group were joined by Hannah Browne, Lead Policy and Research Analyst from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) who provided an overview of HESA’s review of how Universities collect data for the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HE-BCIS). HE-BCIS has been running since 1999 and provides information on a range of activities, from business and public or third sector involvement in research, to consultancy and the commercialisation of intellectual property. This data is used by Research England to inform how much funding Higher Education Providers are allocated for innovation activity via the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).

The review, funded by UK Research and Innovation, aims to produce a business case for the design and build of new or improved data collection tools along with associated processing, analysis and dissemination plans. In doing so, HESA aim to improve monitoring of:

  • Whether knowledge exchange is happening at a local, national and international scales;
  • Commercial activity beyond exploitation of intellectual property;
  • The impact and value of social and cultural interactions;
  • The diversity of key agents of knowledge exchange within providers; and
  • In-kind contributions to collaborative partnerships.

More information about the review is available on the HESA website.

A screenshot of the Cluster X Teams meeting

The meeting had an excellent turn-out and Hannah’s presentation was well-received by the group, offering an  opportunity to discuss the implications the review will have on how Universities monitor knowledge exchange activity going forward.

Cat Tate, Knowledge Exchange and Engagement Manager at Kent, said of the meeting, “As a signatory of the Knowledge Exchange Concordat, we are committed to collaborating with other Universities, so it was fantastic to have the opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with knowledge exchange data collection with other practitioners from HEPs across the UK.  We are excited about the opportunities the review will bring to further capture the breadth of Knowledge Exchange activities happening across the University.”

Cluster Group X is one of 7 groups of UK HEIs formed by Research England as part of the Knowledge Exchange Framework to enable a fair comparison of knowledge exchange activity between them. Cluster Group X consists of large, high research intensive and broad discipline Universities undertaking a significant amount of excellent research.

The University of Kent’s definition of Knowledge Exchange is:

“A two-way exchange between researchers, students and research users, to share ideas, evidence research, experiences and skills. It refers to any process through which academic ideas and insights are shared, and external perspectives and experiences brought in to academia.” 

Read more about the University of Kent’s commitment to knowledge exchange.

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