Knowledge Exchange

Last updated 23 November 2017

In 2015-16, the knowledge exchange index is estimated to have been 10.1 per cent higher than the previous year and 13.2 per cent above the baseline year of 2007-08.



In terms of quality, Scotland's university-based research is amongst the best in the world. However, the level of business research and development lags behind that of most developed countries. If the Scottish Government is to realise its ambitions for delivering sustainable levels of economic growth, then more of the high quality knowledge being created in Scotland's universities needs to be effectively transferred for and into the Scottish economy. Enhanced knowledge exchange from universities has the potential to contribute to both improved economic output from existing businesses and the creation of new, high value businesses with the capacity to grow and energise Scotland's GDP performance. It also has the potential to deliver social and cultural gains for Scotland. The exchange of knowledge between universities to the wider economy is complex and can take many forms. Knowledge exchange activities range from public lectures, the establishment of new spin-out companies, and project collaboration between universities and business or other organisations. The sheer range and nature of activities which knowledge exchange encompasses means that knowledge exchange is not easily measured systematically across Scotland; is dependent on demand from businesses or public/voluntary organisations; and, in many cases, does not raise income for universities. Moreover, the exchange of knowledge from universities can occur both directly and indirectly.


This indicator is measured using the Scottish Funding Council's (SFC) Knowledge Transfer Metrics Return. This dataset records the income received by all SFC-funded Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from knowledge exchange activities, designed as a means of allocating a grant for knowledge exchange. The indicator is a weighted, inflation-adjusted index of the Scottish Funding Council's (SFC) Knowledge Transfer Metrics Return. The measurement of this National Indicator captures the Scottish Higher Education (HE) sector's income from a variety of knowledge exchange activities ranging from the commercialisation of new research to the delivery of professional training and consultancy services. In this respect, the indicator is a proxy measure of the quantity, but not the quality, of knowledge exchange activities undertaken by Scottish universities. The index gives a zero weighting to all publicly-funded activities to stimulate knowledge exchange to ensure any change in the index is not directly influenced by a change in public funding. Criteria for dashboard recent performance colour: any difference within +/- 2.5 percent suggest the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 2.5 per cent or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 2.5 per cent or more suggests the position is worsening.


This data used for the indicator is published by the Scottish Funding Council:


 Knowledge Exchange

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