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Knowledge exchange and intellectual property

26 April 2023

This year’s Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) Conference was an opportunity to share a range of practical insights on knowledge exchange delivery with case studies from higher education providers (HEPs). 

The conference was attended by members of the knowledge exchange community from multiple HEPs and included speakers from, among others, Research England, HESA, University of Birmingham, Cranfield University, University of Sussex, UCL, Nottingham Trent University, University of Sheffield and University of Bristol. 

Key speakers at the conference included Browne Jacobson lawyers Nick Smee and Rob Northall who delivered a presentation on Intellectual Property (IP) commercialisation and spinouts. 

Nick and Rob presented on some of the key concepts underpinning these metrics, including spinout fundamentals and differing IP commercialisation models. Nick gave an IP overview and discussed the differing IP provisions to incorporate in licensing, joint ventures and spinout models. Rob provided a high-level overview of some of the key considerations relating to the main legal structures utilised in IP commercialisation (including equity structure and incentivising founders, reserved matters and exits). 

The KEF provides a range of information on the knowledge exchange activities of HEPs in England and provides HEPs access to the KEF’s vast data sets via its data dashboards to help share knowledge between HEPs and it also includes the following metrics specific to IP:

  • Estimated current turnover of all active firms per spinouts surviving 3 years
  • Average external investment per spinouts surviving 3 years
  • Licensing and other IP income as proportion of research income

If you would like to find out more about IP commercialisation relating to spinouts and joint ventures here are some useful links:

Keeping your spinouts spinning

University spinouts and joint ventures

For more information on the Knowledge Exchange Framework, visit:

Research England: Knowledge Exchange Framework

Key contacts

Key contacts

Nick Smee


+44 (0)330 045 2122

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Can we help you? Contact Nick

Rob Northall

Senior Associate

+44 (0)3300452372

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Can we help you? Contact Rob

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