Durham University’s research partnerships driving knowledge exchange

Durham University

Students working in the Venture Lab

We have once again performed strongly in the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF). Now in its second year, the results from KEF showcase our strengths in research partnerships, commercialising research, local growth and regeneration and working with business, public and third sector organisations.

The data, available on the KEF website, informs a series of metrics that look at the performance of English Higher Education Providers (HEPs) from a range of different perspectives. The results showcase our strengths in research partnerships, commercialising research, local growth and regeneration and working with business, public and third sector organisations.

Research partnerships

Our research partnerships once again scored highly. Our contract and collaborative research with non-academic partners has doubled over the last five years and is now worth around £25 million per year. The depth and breadth of our research expertise reflects the importance we place on working closely with external partners to help address some of the grand challenges facing our daily lives.

Commercialising research

We lead on a collaboration between the North East’s universities to support spin out creation. Since 2018 the Northern Accelerator programme has helped generate 33 spin-outs, with those businesses raising over £100 million in investment, creating real-world impact from world-leading research.

Supporting local growth and business

We provide a number of business support programmes helping local firms to innovate and grow. This includes support for start up businesses through Durham City Incubator, a partnership with Durham County Council and New College Durham, allowing new businesses to access a range of detailed support as they start out.

Other initiatives include Durham Venture Lab which has boosted enterprise support to students and graduates giving them an in-depth experience of entrepreneurship and new business development. Over the past year, the Venture Lab has engaged with almost 1,000 students and created 34 start up businesses.

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