Durham University has performed strongly in a national assessment of how universities work with others to benefit the economy and society.
The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), now in its second year, highlighted the university’s strengths in research partnerships, commercialising research, supporting local growth and regeneration and working with businesses, public agencies and third sector groups.
The KEF, which is led by Research England, scored Durham highly for research partnerships – one example being the university’s work with Procter and Gamble. Durham was also praised for creating high-quality spin-out businesses.
The University also runs business support programmes to help local firms innovate and grow. This includes a project with Durham County Council and New College Durham to support start-up businesses.
The Durham City Incubator allows new businesses to access support as they start out and the Durham Venture Lab gives enterprise support to students and graduates, engaging almost 1,000 students and helping create 34 start-up businesses in the past year.
Orbit University Enterprise Zone at NETPark, Sedgefield, County Durham, provides flexible office space and tailored support and guidance for science and technology SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and university spin-outs.
Businesses located at Orbit have access to Durham University’s research expertise, support and learning, test facilities and collaborative working opportunities, as well as the opportunity to attend regular workshops and events.