Today we have launched our Expertise in Action report, highlighting the impact of funding knowledge exchange activity at smaller and specialist institutions and accompanied by a blog in HEPI by GuildHE Policy Manager (Places and Knowledge Exchange) Dana Gamble. This report showcases knowledge exchange projects at 10 universities that received short-term funding from Research England.

Due to smaller and specialist institutions typically not receiving sustainable and flexible funding for KE, we wanted to capture the impact that this one-off funding made on the institutions, as well as on their partners and communities. In 2021 and 2022, Research England introduced single-year grants for these universities as part of a UKRI wide priority to build back activity after the Covid-19 pandemic. This report demonstrates the impact that this funding can make and argues for a funding system that recognises this. We also include an experimental analysis of the current funding methodology by adjusting it to consider student numbers as a proxy for size, and GuildHE institutions see significant jumps in their contributions.

Anthony McClaran, GuildHE Chair and Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University Twickenham said:

“GuildHE has long called for knowledge exchange funding to be extended to the many smaller and specialist institutions that do not receive it. This report demonstrates the impact that this funding can have and showcases the types of partnerships, opportunities and outcomes that this funding supported GuildHE members to achieve through 10 case studies. We hope these will drive better recognition of the socioeconomic value these providers have to the UK’s research and innovation ambitions.”