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Knowledge Exchange: University recognised for helping guide the region to economic growth

The University of Hull has been recognised nationally for its work to promote economic growth and regeneration in this year’s Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), published today by Research England.

The results reveal the university has been classed as having ‘Very High Engagement’, the highest ranking in this category.

The KEF3 data also highlights the University as one of the top performing in the country when it comes to research partnerships and in our work with the public and third sector.

Professor Dave Petley, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, said: “I’m delighted we have been recognised for the work we are doing to promote local growth and regeneration. It is such a crucial part of our commitment to the community in which we are rooted. We will continue to drive future growth alongside our partners and promote economic prosperity for the Humber region.

Knowledge exchange is a crucial part of our work and we are committed to helping to shape our region in a positive way. We approach this civic responsibility with commitment and expertise, and we believe these KEF3 results reflect the achievements of the partnerships we have built, and the way we are sharing advanced knowledge and research with industry, business, and third-sector organisations.

Professor Dave Petley

The University has been supporting local growth and regeneration through innovation support ecosystems for regional SMEs via funded programmes with Aura, SparkFund and the Flood Innovation Centre.

Led by the University of Hull, Aura finds solutions for the challenges facing the region and the world, ranging from technical and operational to economic and societal.

So far, Aura has supported more than 1,000 businesses to access low carbon innovation support, helping the region’s ambitious drive to net zero. A further five thousand businesses, individuals and researchers have participated in workshops briefings and events at the Innovation Centre, in Hessle.

SparkFund, a £20 million innovation and grants programme, has supported SMEs in the Humber, York and North Yorkshire to move their business forward through innovation and Research &Development focusing on low carbon. And a total of £3.5 million has been distributed via the Flood Innovation Centre, which has supported 83 SMEs to develop new flood resilience products and services.

In addition, for a decade, the University has been delivering Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), which unite graduates with business partners across the region, giving them a competitive advantage, increased turnover and entry into new markets. Over two thirds of our graduate associates have been offered permanent positions with the company at the end of their KTP.

Emma Calverley, Director of the University’s Knowledge Exchange, added: “These results are testament to the work that goes on across the University community to ensure that we contribute to research partnerships, to help grow the region’s economy and to be an integral part of the region by helping to shape its future.

We are delighted to see improvements in our KEF assessment in terms of promoting local growth and regeneration, and to continue to perform with strength in other areas. We will endeavour to build on the success we have achieved. We will do this by uniting with our partners across the region and we look forward to identifying new ways of working within the community that is integral to our success.

Emma Calverley

KEF forms the third pillar of assessment of universities’ activities, alongside the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and was developed by Research England to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of knowledge exchange in universities.

It is the third year universities have been benchmarked against seven key areas, providing a picture of how they engage with external partners to contribute both to the economy and society.

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