The University of Manchester has achieved the highest possible score for its work with intellectual property and commercialisation, research partnerships and public and community engagement in the latest Knowledge Exchange Framework rating by Research England.

The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) is an annual assessment by Research England of the ways English universities engage with society and the economy, locally, nationally, and internationally. This is the third set of ratings, known as KEF3.

From 2019, The University of Manchester’s research commercialisation has been undertaken by the Innovation Factory, the evolution of the University’s IP licensing and spinout activities, known as UMIP previously.

The Innovation Factory’s core mission is to use the IP developed at the University to create positive social, economic, and environmental impact.

Intellectual property and commercialisation

This year, the University achieved the maximum possible rating of very high engagement for intellectual property and commercialisation.

The achievements of the University’s Innovation Factory in licensing, intellectual property income, investment and turnover of spinouts, maintains Manchester’s performance as a leading university for creating new businesses from research and other activity.

Additionally, in both research partnerships and public and community engagement, Manchester was equally highly-rated. Andrew Wilkinson, Innovation Factory CEO, said:

“KEF3 demonstrates that the Innovation Factory at The University of Manchester is commercialising IP-rich research with real world benefits to society and the economy.  We strive to have a truly global reach to ensure the technology and innovations coming from Manchester positively impact the lives of people around the world.”

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of the Innovation Factory

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of the Innovation Factory

Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “Knowledge exchange is a core priority for The University of Manchester. We are delighted to see our achievements continue to be recognised in the KEF3 profile. We shall continue to ensure that our research, teaching and social responsibility activities benefit the economy and society at local, national and global level.”


Research England has published each university’s performance on KEF dashboards on its website.

Research England

Research England is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom that directs research and innovation funding, funded through the science budget of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. 

The University of Manchester Innovation Factory

The Innovation Factory works with academic and student inventors to identify research that has the potential to create value. It then translates these into a form where they can be used to benefit society as a whole. Access to innovations may be created via technology licensing or the formation of new spinout companies. The Innovation Factory aims to provide a world class service to academic colleagues as well as industry; entrepreneurs; licensees; VC & angel investors and corporate venturing partners.

If you would like to get in touch to talk about how we can support your innovations, please contact us.