Discover our blogs

Aerospace | Cranfield University


Agrifood | Cranfield University


Alumni | Cranfield University


Careers | Cranfield University


Careers | Cranfield University

Defence and Security

Design | Cranfield University


Energy and Power | Cranfield University

Energy and Sustainability

Environment | Cranfield University


Forensics | Cranfield University


Libraries | Cranfield University


Libraries | Cranfield University

Manufacturing and Materials

Libraries | Cranfield University

School of Management

Libraries | Cranfield University

Transport Systems

Water | Cranfield University


Homepage / Introducing the KEF (Knowledge Exchange Framework)

Introducing the KEF (Knowledge Exchange Framework)


You’ve heard about the REF, now learn about the KEF!

The 2023 Knowledge Exchange Framework results were recently announced. Cranfield performed well in the areas of working with businesses, and Intellectual Property (IP) and commercialisation.

Why is the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) important to Cranfield?

Developed by Research England, the annual KEF exercise provides a range of information about the knowledge exchange activities of English Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This covers how each institution works with external partners, from businesses to community groups, for the benefit of the economy and society.

The KEF has an important role to play in providing rich evidence of our strengths in Knowledge Exchange relative to other institutions as well as supporting continuous improvement. It broadly showcases Knowledge Exchange in seven ‘Perspectives’:

  • Public and community engagement
  • IP and commercialisation
  • Local growth and regeneration
  • Research partnerships
  • Working with business
  • Working with the public and third sector
  • Research Partnerships

To date the KEF has not been linked to funding. However, it is anticipated that in future KEF will be used to inform Knowledge Exchange funding allocations such as the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF; worth £5.17M to Cranfield University, 2022/23).  Cranfield is one of 25 HEIs that currently receives the maximum HEIF allocation; something that we are keen to continue.

What can you do to help?

The data that contributes towards the KEF is taken from several sources. To maximise the visibility of our Knowledge Exchange activities and ensure we are assessed accurately, it is key that we feed our data into those sources.

Two metrics sit beneath Research partnerships:

(1) Contribution to collaborative research (cash) as a proportion of public funding and,

(2) Co-authorship with non-academic partners as a proportion of total outputs.

Should you be in a position where you co-author a publication with a non-academic partner, please ensure that they have made clear their organisation affiliation, and their contribution to the publication. The Cranfield policy on Authorships outlines how contribution should be signposted, by using the CRediT taxonomy. This will ensure the work is picked up and acknowledged by the KEF exercise, and improve Cranfield’s next KEF results.

Further support

If you have any questions about the KEF please contact Sandra Messenger.

If you would like advice about the use of CRediT in your publications, please contact your Research Support Librarian.


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Rachel Daniels

Written By: Karyn Meaden-Pratt

Rachel is the Library Services' Research Support Manager, and is responsible for managing the Research Support Librarians, the open access team and the Research Data Manager.

Karyn is the Library Communications Manager and University Archivist.

Categories & Tags:

Leave a comment on this post:

Sign up for more information about studying master’s and research degrees at Cranfield

Sign up now
Go to Top