KEF2 Results: Salford Celebrates Success in the Knowledge Exchange Framework 

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Today, the results of the second iteration of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF2) have been made publicly available and we would like to share some of the key areas of activity (known as ‘perspectives’) where Salford places in the top quintile across the sector.

Recognition of our very high levels of engagement in the ‘IP & Commercialisation’ and ‘Working with Business’ perspectives in particular are testament to the University’s longstanding commitment to industry collaboration and demonstrates our far-reaching economic impact across the region and beyond.

Our KEF2 Results

Salford has been assessed as having ‘very high’ or ‘high’ engagement (top two quintiles) across the sector in four of the seven perspectives assessed. These results are normalised according to the income of each institution.

Highlights include:

· Placing among the top-ranked institutions in the sector, which includes 14 from the Russell Group, for the IP & Commercialisation perspective.

· Placing among the top-ranked institutions in the sector, alongside King’s College, London Business School and Manchester, for the Working with Business perspective.

· Achieving very high engagement in terms of both our average external investment per formal spin-out and our estimated current turnover of all active firms per active spin-out in the IP & Commercialisation perspective.

· Achieving very high engagement in terms of both our Higher Education Business & Community Interaction (HE-BCI) consultancy and facilities income with non-SME business and our HE-BCI contract research income with SME business (both normalised by HEI income) in the Working with Business perspective.

Cluster Comparison

One of the strengths of the English HEI sector is its diversity. To this end, the KEF groups institutions into ‘clusters’ of peers – institutions with similar characteristics based on their level of research activity and discipline areas. Salford’s performance in the KEF is therefore presented alongside the average performance of its cluster peer group.

Salford is placed in Cluster E (large universities with broad discipline portfolio across both STEM and non-STEM, generating excellent research across all disciplines), which includes Manchester Metropolitan and Liverpool John Moores Universities, and has achieved notable success in the following areas:

  • Rating exceeds the cluster average in both the IP & Commercialisation and Working with Business perspectives (very high engagement compared to medium engagement across the cluster)
  • Rating matches the cluster average in both the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) & Graduate Start-ups and Research Partnerships perspectives (high engagement)
  • Rating matches the cluster average in the Working with the Public and Third Sector perspective (medium engagement)

More information about the KEF

The KEF is the UK’s system for assessing the level of knowledge exchange amongst Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with different types of partner, ranging from members of the public to multinationals, which is used for the benefit of the economy and society.

The KEF is undertaken by Research England, a public body who fund HEIs to undertake research and knowledge exchange and who are part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI). The first iteration of the KEF was published in March 2021, with submission to KEF2 in Spring 2022.


Through the University’s Innovation Strategy 2021-2026 we acknowledge that in order to be truly transformative for the wider economy innovation needs to be embedded through the creation of new knowledge that is applied to real-world challenges, whilst informing our learning and teaching curriculum. In alignment with this strategy, University of Salford Enterprises (USE) is committed to creating an IP and spin-out portfolio that is externally recognised for its delivery of both wealth creation and its contributions to environmental sustainability and social impact.  For more detail on the key role innovation plays at Salford, click here.

To find a full breakdown of results via the KEF Dashboards please click here.