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27 September 2022

King's ranks among top universities for collaborations which benefit economy and society

King’s College London has ranked among the top English universities in this year’s Knowledge Exchange Framework results.

A red flag with the King's College London logo
A red flag with the King's College London logo

The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) is an annual assessment of higher education institutions that measures how universities transfer their knowledge to different types of partners in order to benefit the economy and society.

By assessing institutions, the KEF aims to provide information to help potential partners access universities’ world-class knowledge, allow universities to understand their performance and ensure public funding used in knowledge exchange is effective.

King’s was ranked against a peer set of institutions with similar research characteristics across various perspectives that capture the broad range of knowledge activity universities carry out. Five of the seven perspectives had updated data included this year, with the remaining two being updated next year.

In the updated perspectives, King’s ranked:

  • In the top quintile (top 20% of the sector) for Research Partnerships (above the average for the peer group)
  • In the top quintile for IP and Commercialisation (average for the peer group)
  • In the top quintile for Working with Business (average for the peer group)
  • In the top quintile for Working with the Public and Third Sector (above average for the peer group)
  • In the top quintile for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Graduate Start-ups (above the average for the peer group)

Knowledge exchange in practice

One of the projects that contributed to King’s ranking for IP and commercialisation, was the successful licensing of research from the Allergy and Asthma Group. A collaborative research project with UCB Pharma, used insights from the Group’s research to develop two different allergy drugs. The King’s team was embedded in the UCB drug discovery and development programme, ensuring effective knowledge exchange between the two partners.

King’s continues to perform as one of the largest providers of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in England and has ranked in the top two among the peer set for the CPD and Graduate Startups perspective. Sojo, a graduate startup that has received significant investment from King’s Entrepreneurship Institute, was used as an example. This business, which was the winner of King’s20 Accelerator 2020-21, was coached by the Entrepreneurship Institute to ensure the venture was successful. Since being on King’s20, Sojo has secured investment, won the Santander X Entrepreneurship Awards pitch competition, and built partnerships with renowned retail companies.

Kings was incredibly supportive of me at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. Through advice, workshops, support and grants they laid such strong foundations for me to pursue and grow Sojo full-time after university.

Josephine Philips, King’s graduate and founder of Sojo

The strength of King’s partnerships with non-academic organisations, particularly with partner NHS Trusts, is demonstrated by the university’s performance in the Research Partnerships perspective.

I’m really proud of our performance with all of the updated metrics placing King’s in the top quintile and above the peer group cluster average in three of the seven perspectives. This shows our strong focus on Knowledge Exchange across the university bearing fruit. Moving forward we will be continuing this focus with Research Impact and Knowledge Exchange a key pillar of future strategy.

Professor Reza Razavi, Vice President (Research) at King’s

Knowledge exchange is integral to the mission and purpose of our universities, and its importance in contributing to societal and economic prosperity is strongly supported by the Government. Today’s new version of the Knowledge Exchange Framework takes further forward the vision and potential of KE activity, providing richer evidence to demonstrate universities’ strengths in different areas when set alongside their peers.

David Sweeney CBE, Executive Chair of Research England

In this story

Reza  Razavi

Vice President (Research)