A new framework has recognised the University of Nottingham’s sector-leading work with business amongst a range of activities helping to benefit the economy.
The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), published by Research England, showcases the rich contribution that universities make to society – both locally and nationally. The University of Nottingham ranks among the leading universities for a number of criteria, including working with business, research partnerships, IP and commercialisation and working with the public and third sector.
The framework paints a picture of the relationship between universities and the many external organisations they engage with. It has been developed to increase the effectiveness in the use of public funding for knowledge exchange, and to further a culture of continuous improvement in universities.
The way we exchange knowledge with our communities is a key part of our university mission alongside research and teaching. The regeneration of our regional economy needs strong partnerships between businesses, universities and local government. We are proud that our work in this area has been recognised and we will use the insight from this national framework to build upon our strengths and develop deeper partnerships.
Businesses engage with universities in a huge variety of ways, from accessing expertise in research and problem solving to recruiting graduates and developing skills. Nottingham has a number of business support programmes specifically aimed at local SMEs, including a £1.6 million project to support the recovery of Nottingham’s cultural sector, and a productivity improvement programme to help businesses recover from the economic impact of Covid-19.
Nationally, the University is at the forefront of a number of key industrial challenges including decarbonisation, supporting companies including Rolls-Royce to develop future aerospace technologies, and through world-leading research into sustainable chemistry at its GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratories.
The University of Nottingham is also recognised in the Knowledge Exchange Framework for its work to level up the local area. There are ambitious plans for the University of Nottingham Innovation Park, housing a number of exciting start-up and spin-out companies in a former brownfield site, to double in size over the next few years and to develop new sites that support business growth in manufacturing, digital and zero carbon sectors.
The Knowledge Exchange Framework highlights the diverse value universities add to their local areas. Our response to the local fight against Covid-19, and our flagship Universities for Nottingham programme are two examples of using our strengths to meet local challenges and improve the local economy.