Higher education knowledge exchange

Knowledge exchange activities are the processes by which knowledge, expertise and skilled people transfer between the research base and its user communities to contribute to economic competitiveness, effectiveness of public services and policy, and quality of life. The Northern Ireland universities, as the largest practitioners of research in the country, have a particularly important contribution to make to the economy in this respect.

Northern Ireland Higher Education Innovation Fund (NI HEIF)

The Department's primary funding tool for promoting knowledge exchange activity is the NI HEIF. The objective of NI HEIF is to encourage the higher education sector to increase their capability to respond to the needs of business (including companies of all sizes) and the wider community, with a clear focus on the promotion of wealth creation. The long term aim of this funding is to improve Northern Ireland’s innovation performance as a key element in raising productivity and delivering economic growth.

This core funding is currently approximately £4m per annum.

For further information contact, please contact the Department's Higher Education Research Policy Branch.

Higher and Further Education Collaboration Fund – Connected

The overall aim of the programme is to enable the Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE) sectors to identify and meet, in a coordinated and holistic fashion, the Knowledge Exchange needs of businesses in particular, and also of the wider community.

This programme is being delivered by Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and the Open University, in partnership with the six Colleges of Further Education. Under Connected, the universities and the six further education colleges come together to provide a highly effective “one-stop-shop" for companies wishing to access the technology and knowledge capital within the local research base, taking them right through the whole process from problem definition through to solution identification and implementation.

For further information, please visit the Connected website or contact the Department's Higher Education Research Policy Branch.

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