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Concordat for the Advancement of Knowledge Exchange in Higher Education

A key and growing part of the role of universities is proactive ​knowledge exchange (KE), which is defined as a collaborative, creative endeavour which translates knowledge and research into impact in society and the economy. Knowledge exchange includes a set of activities, processes and skills that enable close collaboration between universities and partner organisations to deliver commercial, environmental, cultural and place-based benefits, opportunities for students, and increased prosperity.

At Edinburgh Napier, Knowledge Exchange spans the boundaries of all areas and functions of the University. We all have a role to play in enhancing knowledge exchange activity through our teaching, research, public outreach, internal and external communications, student engagement and external partnerships.

In 2021, Edinburgh Napier, alongside 136 fellow Higher Education providers, committed to developing our knowledge exchange activity to drive economic, social and cultural recovery and growth.

The KE concordat offers a route to evidence this commitment by adopting the 8 Guiding Principles of good practice:

Project Overview


Phase 1 - Creating an Action Plan

The aim of the project is to complete a self-evaluation and gap analysis against the 8 Guiding Principles of the KE concordat and to produce a final action plan which aims to close the gaps.

The 8 Guiding Principles are​ exemplified by suggested Key Enablers​ which aid institutions to benchmark their own performance and identify gaps, leading to actionable resolutions which are captured in a final action plan template.

The action plan will be co-developed by staff, students, and external partners from across the University and we welcome your input. 

Phase 2 - Implementing the Action Plan

Five of the resulting actions will be prioritised to be addressed in the academic cycle 2022-23. Details on the implementation of the final action plan will be addressed under Phase 2 of the project, following formal approval of the action plan.

​Invite to Have Your Say in the Action Planning Exercise 

It is important that the University's KE Concordat Action Plan is co-developed in partnership with our staff, students and external partners and that it reflects the ambitions of our University strategy.

We will be running a short series of workshops in early June 2022, comprising a range of targeted participants, who have been identified to contribute to the project based on their role or remit.

In addition to these targeted participants, we welcome input from any staff or student member who has an interest in developing knowledge exchange activity.

What is Involved?

The workshops have been designed to minimise time-commitment, the aim being to complete the entire exercise within a "quick-sprint" period. Group meetings will take place, as well as being pre-recorded. Your input will be captured through collaborative forums, enabling contribution to be completed at your own discretion within the quick-sprint period.

Although it is desirable for participants to attend the workshop meetings to facilitate discussion, this is not essential. 1:1 support will be provided directly to participants by the workshop facilitator.

Participants do not require any prior understanding of the Knowledge Exchange Concordat or any specific KE expertise. The aim of the exercise is to understand the University's current position from a range of perspectives and identify opportunities for improvement.

If you are interested in contributing to the action plan formulation, please email a short note of interest to KEConcordat@napier.ac.uk​. The deadline has now been extended to wednesday 27th April 2022. 

Notes of interest will be considered by the Project Board with due consideration for EDI.

Project Team

The project is being led by Linda Wallace, Head of Knowledge Exchange, and is supported by a small project team based in Research, Innovation and Enterprise, and The Strategy Hub.

Recognising the broad remit of the KE Concordat which span the entire University, the project is sponsored by the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation and the Vice-Principal Learning and Teaching and has the endorsement of the Principal.

The University's Research and Innovation Committee will act as the primary oversight committee for reporting and monitoring progress of the KE Concordat project. 

Appropriate updates will be reported upwards to Academic Board and through SLT.

The KE concordat creates a further opportunity for universities to better illustrate how and what they do, and how they aim to improve. For more information or any questions, please get in touch with the project team at KEConcordat@napier.ac.uk

Useful Links to Further Information​​