Research England has published the results of the second Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF).
Knowledge exchange is defined as a collaborative, creative endeavour that translates knowledge and research into impact in society and the economy. This, in turn, helps to inform research, enrich education and enhance professional practice.
The KEF is released annually and aims to increase efficiency and effectiveness in public funding for knowledge exchange and to encourage universities to understand and improve on their performance.
The results of the KEF have been published in the form of institutional dashboards, with institutions measured against seven perspectives - including working with businesses, the public and the third sector; intellectual property and commercialisation; and public and community engagement.
In recognition of the fact that universities have different areas of expertise and work in regions with different needs, all universities in England have been placed into 7 different clusters according to their expertise, size and research activity.
BU’s performance in the KEF demonstrates a number of areas of strength, including research partnerships, working with business, and local growth and regeneration.
For example, the Institute of Medical Imaging and Visualisation (IMIV) is delivering education and professional development programmes to help meet the needs of the local community, the NHS and industry, as well as current global medical imaging workforce demands. Facilities including a 3T MRI scanner are also facilitating joint research opportunities with NHS trusts, primary care, industry and academia – helping to improve health outcomes for the region.
The university is also working with partner University Hospitals Dorset on collaborative research that can make a real difference to patients.
This includes a current joint project to explore commercialising a medical device using smartphones to screen nerve function in patients at risk of peripheral neuropathy – a condition which affects 2.3 million people in the UK and can lead to loss of sensation in the fingers and toes.
BU is also developing new areas of research that have the potential to support industry – such as ADDISONIC, which explores how ultrasonic fatigue testing can quickly and reliably predict how materials will perform and last. This has a range of commercial applications – from jet engines to medical devices – and could help to create more efficient manufacturing processes and reduce global waste.
Ian Jones, Head of External Engagement at BU, said: “It is good to see an assessment of our progress in knowledge exchange and the impact we’ve made through our work.
“A part of our vision as a university is to enrich society. Our knowledge exchange work takes the knowledge we create and looks to embed it in society, and I’m proud that our work embodies this vision.”
David Sweeney CBE, Executive Chair of Research England, said: “Knowledge exchange (KE) is integral to the mission and purpose of our universities, and its importance in contributing to societal and economic prosperity is strongly supported by the Government.
“Today’s new version of the Knowledge Exchange Framework takes further forward the vision and potential of KE activity, providing richer evidence to demonstrate universities’ strengths in different areas when set alongside their peers.”
Visit the Knowledge Exchange Framework website to view the institutional dashboards and find out more about the KEF.