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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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About the framework

The framework is intended to increase efficiency and effectiveness in use of public funding for knowledge exchange (KE), to further a culture of continuous improvement in university KE by providing a package of support to keep English university knowledge exchange operating at world class standard. It aims to address the range of different KE activities.

HEFCE is working with various stakeholders to develop the framework including HEIs, Universities UK, Auril, PraxisUnico and other KE professional bodies, NCUB, research councils and Innovate UK.

Why we are developing the framework

The Government has asked HEFCE to lead on developing the knowledge exchange framework.

HEFCE was initially asked to develop the framework in the Government’s science and innovation strategy, 'Our plan for growth: Science and innovation' in December 2014. The framework was confirmed as an important priority in the HE white paper ‘Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice’ in May 2016, as part of the Government’s response to the Dowling Review of Business-University Research Collaborations.

Activity to develop the framework

KE framework champion and framework steering group

HEFCE asked Professor Trevor McMillan, the Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, to act as the KE framework champion, overseeing the programme of work from the perspective of university leadership.

As the KE framework champion, Professor Trevor McMillan will chair has established a new steering group for the framework, which he will chair. The steering group will bring together university leadership, academic experts and expert practitioners.

McMillan review of good practice in technology transfer

As part of the framework development, The McMillan group have reported on good practice in technology transfer: the processes of exploiting university intellectual property through spinning out companies or licensing.

Read the report on good practice in technology transfer

Read a blog post on 'Mixing the complex ingredients to technology transfer'

Good practice and benchmarking knowledge exchange

HEFCE is focussing on good practice materials and KE benchmarks when developing the framework. In 2015, HEFCE invited institutions to provide examples of good practice materials. We commissioned Research Consulting to undertake a more extensive review of good practice materials and commissioned IP Pragmatics to look more extensively at benchmarking. Read the reports, published in September 2016.

Knowledge exchange framework portal

HEFCE have set up an online portal to signpost good practice and communities of practice in knowledge exchange. The portal is based on a paper produced by Research Consulting which explores existing good practice. The portal will continue to be developed, in consultation with the steering group and further resources will be added as the scope of the framework expands.

The portal also includes links to data tools and resources, to engage universities in the development of benchmarking resources that can help them identify their comparators and sources of peer support and improvement.

Page last updated 28 October 2016