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The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF)

The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) at Brunel


The Knowledge Exchange Framework or KEF was introduced by the UK Government in March 2021. The aim of the KEF is to provide businesses and other users with more information to help them access the world-class knowledge and expertise embedded in English universities. 

The inaugural KEF survey paints a very positive picture of Brunel’s external engagement and shows that businesses and other organisations can partner with us with confidence backed by this external and independent benchmark.

Brunel scores particularly well in the ‘public and community engagement,’ ‘research partnerships’ and ‘working with business’ categories, where it was placed in the top 30% of institutions within its cluster. The following highlights of this first iteration of the survey include:

KEF perspective Sector position
Innovate UK funding as a proportion of research income Top 10%
Contribution to collaborative research as a proportion of public funding Top 10 %
Consultancy and the use of facilities with SME’s Top 20%
Research partnerships Top 30% 
 Public engagement  Top 30% 
 Working with business Top 30% 
 Research income with the public and third sectors Top 40%
 Co-authorship with non-academic partners Top 40%
 Working with the public and third sector Top 50%

About KEF

The KEF aims to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public funding for knowledge exchange (KE). Universities are grouped into “Clusters” to ensure they are compared with similar sized institutions with broadly similar public “missions”.  

The KEF evaluates seven different aspects of a universities work with external stakeholders which are known as ''Perspective''. The seven Perspectives are

  • Public and community engagement 
  • Research partnerships
  • Working with business
  • Working with the public and third sector
  • Local growth and regeneration
  • Skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • IP and Commercialisation.

For further information on KEF, please visit kef.ac.uk.