Oxford University has been recognised as a UK leader in Knowledge Exchange in a new Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), published by Research England today.
The data in the KEF informs a series of metrics that look at the performance of English Higher Education Providers (HEPs) from a variety of different perspectives. These perspectives include public and community engagement, working with partners ranging from big businesses to small local firms, and commercialisation of research.
‘Through its depth and breadth across its four divisions, it is rare to find an area of research that the University is not active in, and through knowledge exchange we aim to ensure the outputs of our research are accessible and useful for society,’ said Patrick Grant, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Oxford.
‘Collaboration with partners here and around the world is essential if we are to develop research that can address the local, national and global challenges of today and of the future, as illustrated by the recent £100m donation from INEOS for our research to fight antimicrobial resistance.’
Oxford, placed in a ‘KEF cluster’ made up of ‘very large, very high research intensive and broad-discipline universities undertaking significant amounts of excellent research’ performed above average when benchmarked against peer institutions in six of the seven framework perspectives.
In four of these Oxford was ranked in the top 10% of all UK Higher Education institutions: Working with Business, Working with the Public and Third Sector, and IP and Commercialisation, and Public and Community Engagement.
‘Oxford’s approach remains one of investing in strong partnerships of all types with partners and businesses and actively catalysing innovation through our university spin-out and start-up companies,’ said Chas Bountra, Pro Vice Chancellor for Innovation at the University of Oxford.
‘These companies have become a major driver of the UK’s innovation engine. Just look at Oxford Nanopore, a UK tech unicorn born from Oxford research. From its beginnings in 2005, the company has grown to employ over 600 people, deployed its technology as far a-field as the International Space Station, and is on course to have one of the largest UK IPOs this year.’
Since launching in 2017, The Oxford Foundry has supported the growth of 32 startups and worked with partners to launch StEP Ignite, one of the most generous student entrepreneurship programmes globally.
The University continues to build strong partnerships with local organisations to foster innovation and economic growth through creation of innovation centres, such as the Bioescalator, and plans to expand the Begbroke Science Park into a major innovation district, with similar transformation plans elsewhere in Oxford.
This new data shows the rich contributions English HEPs make, both economically and socially, locally, regionally and nationally.