Salford achieves further success in the Knowledge Exchange Framework

Categories: Research

Today (Wednesday 27 September) the results of the third iteration of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF3) have been released and Salford has been particularly successful in some key areas of activity (known as ‘perspectives’), including IP and commercialisation, working with business and public and community engagement.

We continue to demonstrate very high or high engagement (the top two quintiles) in metric elements of five of the seven areas assessed. All results are normalised according to the income of each institution.

Highlights include:

  • Strengthening our position to achieve high engagement (quintile four) for our Public & Community Engagement.
  • Maintaining very high engagement for IP & Commercialisation in view of our average external investment per formal spin-out and our estimated current turnover of all active firms.
  • Maintaining very high engagement for Working with Business in relation to our HE Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) contract research income with SMEs (normalised by Higher Education Institution income).
What is the KEF?

KEF demonstrates the range of valuable activities universities conduct with external partners across seven perspectives. These perspectives include working with partners ranging from big businesses to small local firms, local growth, public and community engagement and how HE commercialises research. It also demonstrates the diversity of universities that deliver important activities for our economy and society.

Cluster comparison

The Higher Education sector in England is characterised by its diversity - this is reflected in the decision to group institutions taking part in the KEF into ‘clusters’ of peers. Clusters are groups of institutions that have similar characteristics based on their level of research activity and discipline areas. Salford’s performance in the KEF is therefore presented alongside the average performance for its cluster.

Salford is part of Cluster E, characterised by large universities with broad discipline portfolio across both STEM and non-STEM, generating excellent research across all disciplines.

Our ratings exceed the cluster average in the following three perspectives:

  • IP & Commercialisation perspective (very high engagement compared to medium engagement across the cluster).
  • Working with Business perspective (very high engagement compared to high engagement across the cluster).
  • Public & Community Engagement perspective (high engagement compared to medium engagement across the cluster).

Public and community engagement

In order to achieve the goals set out in our Innovation Strategy, we focus activities around five priority areas, one of which is ‘delivering successful public and civic engagement.’ Our commitment as a signatory to the Greater Manchester Civic University Agreement is one way to ensure that we bring value to our city-region and respond to society’s challenges in ways that are relevant to both our city and the wider community. 


Professor Karl Dayson, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research and Enterprise, said: “I would like to convey my thanks to our colleagues at Salford who contributed to the KEF3 submission through their involvement in our annual data submissions and additional narratives which form the basis for these results. Our recently published report Salford Impact demonstrates the transformative impact of our research and knowledge exchange activities that contribute to the KEF.”

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Executive Chair of Research England, said: “Across the breadth of higher education, institutions make rich and diverse contributions to the economy and society through their knowledge exchange activities. Research England is delighted to announce today the publication of the latest version of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF3). The KEF continues to be a powerful tool to describe the breadth of scope of knowledge exchange. It also provides important evidence of different university strengths through peer group comparisons.”

For more information about KEF3, including the new dashboards, click here.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.