Knowledge exchange is the translation of knowledge and research into impact for the benefit of the economy and wider society.
Now in its third year, the KEF aims to capture the diverse ways English universities continue to engage with society and the economy.
The KEF groups institutions with similar characteristics into clusters and records knowledge exchange engagement levels across seven ‘Perspectives’. Durham University is in Cluster X.
Durham engagement levels 2023
Working with business
Working with the public and third sector
CPD and graduate start-ups
Public and community engagement
Local growth and regeneration
IP and commercialisation
Durham is a world-leading university, and proudly part of North East England. Our knowledge exchange activities help create impact - from inspiring learning to sharing our facilities; from driving economic growth to helping our region become more sustainable.
We work with partners to drive investment, innovation, job creation and development, and the adaptation of our economy for the challenges that lie ahead.
We are actively engaged with our local communities to tackle inequalities and embrace new opportunities through our impactful research, innovation and investment to transform lives for the better.
We also have a strong focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which provide a blueprint to achieve a more sustainable future. We have mapped the SDGs onto our research, teaching, wider student experience and global activities. We ensure that the benefits of a world-leading university are shared not just regionally but globally.
As a long-standing regional anchor institution, knowledge exchange is a key priority to ensure that our activities benefit our communities and society more broadly. Partnership working is at the core of everything we do and our successful track record of working with the public, private and third sectors continues to strengthen the impact of our research. We are working hard to continue to embed enterprise across our activities, enhancing our students’ experience and supporting businesses to start-up, innovate and grow. Through the Northern Accelerator programme our academic spin-outs are also helping to create exciting and innovative businesses to further boost economic prosperity.
In 2022, we commissioned an independent report to establish just how the University contributes to the economic, cultural and social vibrancy of North East England.
We produce and disseminate research that has a positive impact on global, national and regional challenges, and which benefits culture, society, health, the economy and the physical environment.
We work closely with a variety of external partners including local, national and international businesses, the government and third sector and the NHS, positioning them at the forefront of innovation by providing opportunities for joint research, consultancy, and access to our cutting-edge equipment and facilities.
Our research partnerships are at the heart of everything we do.
Our award-winning Durham Internships & Collaborative Enterprise (DICE) project in partnership with Business Durham provided an integrated package of business and enterprise support to improve business innovation, increase graduate retention, increase the number of scalable start-ups in the region, and facilitate collaborative partnerships. The four strands of support included:
Find out more about the impact of the DICE Project and its transformative effect on businesses in County Durham.
Northern Accelerator is an exciting collaboration between the North East’s universities, to support high quality spin-out businesses and create real-world impact from world-leading research.
Northern Accelerator has transformed the commercialisation of research in the North East, making a significant contribution to the region’s economy. To date 47 spin-out businesses have been created through the programme’s support model, with many now based in innovation clusters at Newcastle’s Helix and County Durham’s NETPark.
An external evaluation forecasts that Northern Accelerator will have added an additional £140m to the value of the North East economy by 2030, measured in GVA. That contribution to the region’s economy is well underway, with spin-outs from the partner universities raising over £100m investment in the last five years and currently employing over 650 people.
Watch our video to learn how Durham University spin-out Magnitude Biosciences is working on a project to screen for compounds to help with the prevention of degenerative diseases.
Durham University has a mission to deliver an ambitious student and graduate enterprise service with a focus on purpose driven innovation. Our start-ups are pushing the boundaries of what is possible to make the world a better place.
Inspiring the next generation of purpose driven innovators, the Hazen Venture Lab is a dedicated co-working space for our aspiring entrepreneurs. Students can access specialist advice and mentoring sessions, much of which is supplied by the University’s global alumni network. Students also have the opportunity to develop their skills through workshops, networking opportunities, and participate in start-up pitching events.
Hear from some of our founders who have accessed support from Venture Lab.
The knowledge shared by our researchers has informed significant exhibitions and public engagement events. For example:
Durham University Student Volunteering and Outreach (DUSVO) successfully delivers a wide range of volunteering opportunities. We are working with nearly 200 charities and community organisations in addition to offering services to North East schools and hundreds of individuals.
Key stats for 2021/22:
Find out more about Durham University Student Volunteering and Outreach