The way Brunel University London’s research community maintains and enhances its engagement with society and the economy has been recognised among the best in its peer group in the third iteration of Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), announced today.
In KEF3, Brunel shows very high engagement in three metrics: its contribution to collaborative research; its consultancy and facilities income with small and medium-sized businesses; and how much of its research income comes from Innovate UK, the country’s innovation agency.
These are three of the 16 metrics assessed by Research England: measures of performance of English Higher Education Providers (HEPs) which demonstrate the range of valuable activities they conduct with external partners.
KEF3 compares institutions on a like-for-like basis, reviewing narrative accounts of the work they do to build public and community engagement, and to promote economic growth in their local area and beyond. Similar HEPs are grouped together with their peers in ‘KEF clusters’ based on factors such as their size, specialisation and the intensity of their research activities. Brunel remains in ‘Cluster X,’ described as large, high-research-intensive and broad-discipline universities undertaking a significant amount of excellent research.
The narrative accounts demonstrated how:
- Brunel is a major employer and contributor to the local economy, supporting more than 7,500 jobs and contributing more than half a billion pounds to the local economy in a ‘gross valued added’ way.
- The university uses its academic expertise, facilities and ability to access funding to assist people to start new businesses and help existing businesses to grow through developing innovative products and services – such as through the Central Research Laboratory, Co-Innovate and the RIEm programme.
- Its research addresses major societal, cultural and industrial challenges, which translates into benefits for society and the UK economy.
- Brunel engages and communicates with policy makers, third-sector organisations and the wider public to stimulate informed dialogue and discussion.
- Through its role in the launch of the West London Universities Partnership and the London West Innovation Network, and through its relationships with West London councils, chambers of commerce and other local partners, Brunel is improving the wellbeing and prosperity of those who live, work and study within the West London and Thames Valley regions.
Prof Geoff Rodgers, Brunel’s Pro Vice-Chancellor of Enterprise and Employment, welcomed the results. “Our guiding principles are to truly understand our partners’ needs and to build mutually beneficial relationships with them,” he said.
“We are proud of the impact our research has on the economy here in West London and beyond, making a lasting difference to people’s lives and cultures, our environment and the economy. The KEF3 results provide independent validation of what we have achieved and of our strategic direction.”
Prof Dame Jessica Corner, Executive Chair of Research England, added: “The KEF continues to be a powerful tool to describe the breadth of scope of knowledge exchange. Across the breadth of higher education, institutions make rich and diverse contributions to the economy and society through their knowledge exchange activities.”
For the full results, visit kef.ac.uk