Westminster Higher Education Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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Next steps for the Knowledge Exchange Framework - responding to KEF 2021, the use of metrics, and assessing the potential for wider public benefit

Morning, Tuesday, 7th September 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference follows the publication of the first iteration of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) and will examine priorities for the sector, as well as the progress of the upcoming review.

It will also consider wider priorities for knowledge exchange in the UK in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and priorities for the higher education sector in supporting regional development in the context of the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

The discussion will also cover several major policy developments relevant to the discussion, including the Research and Development Roadmap and the Strength in Places Fund, aiming to help boost R&D in the UK, and with reforms to knowledge exchange targeting greater resilience and better outcomes.

Areas for discussion include:

  • next steps - priorities and strategies for HEIs following the first cycle
  • metrics - evaluating the Framework’s measures of impact and use of clustering
  • wider impact - assessing the public benefit of KEF activities, and the ways that HEIs and exchange partnerships can contribute to broader national goals


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from DAERA, NI; the Department for International Trade; the Government Office for Science; and the Intellectual Property Office. Also due to attend are representatives from Bath Spa University; Crossref; EEESafe; Imperial College London; Liverpool Hope University; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; Pinsent Masons; Royal Veterinary College; UK Research and Innovation; University of Bristol; University of Cumbria; University of Edinburgh; University of Plymouth; and University of Surrey.

A press pass has been reserved by a representative from University Business.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as senior university leaders, local authorities, LEPs, businesses and entrepreneurs, industry representatives, student union representatives, research funding bodies, teaching unions and other professional bodies, HE regulators, academics, consultancies and think tanks, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Dr Hamish McAlpine

Head of Data and Evidence, Knowledge Exchange Team, Research England


Fariba Soetan

Policy Lead, Research and Innovation, National Centre for Universities and Business

Mark Pearson

Head, Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise, Royal Holloway University of London

Professor Trevor McMillan

Vice-Chancellor, Keele University

Patrick Speedie

Co-founder, IN-PART

Ceri Nursaw

Chief Executive, National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education

Professor Ludovic Thilly

Chair, Coimbra Group and Executive Vice-Rector, European Networks, University of Poitiers

Simon Bond

Innovation Director, SETsquared

Emily Morrison

Head, Institute for Community Studies, The Young Foundation

Professor Jane Robinson

Pro-Vice Chancellor, Engagement and Place, Newcastle University and Co-Chair, Economic and Social Recovery Task Force, UUK

Dr Iain Thomas

Chair, Praxis Auril and Head, Life Sciences, Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge

Dr Andrew Wray

Head, Knowledge Exchange, University of Bristol

Dr Jeremy Hague

Director, Knowledge Exchange, Nottingham Trent University

Tomas Ulrichsen

Director, Policy Evidence Unit for University Commercialisation and Innovation, University of Cambridge