In 2021, the UK Research and Innovation Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) released its inaugural results and a set of interactive dashboards to enable higher education institutions (HEIs) to better understand and improve their performance in this field, as well as provide businesses and other users with more information to help them access world-class knowledge and expertise. The KEF groups universities of similar profiles to enable meaningful benchmarking, with Plymouth placed in a cluster of large universities that are typified by elements such as a broad discipline portfolio, generating a level of world-leading research across all areas, and significant research funding by government bodies (Cluster E). In two of the seven KEF perspectives, Plymouth achieved notable rankings:
- Local Growth and Regeneration, where the University is in the top 10% of all HEIs
- IP and Commercialisation, where the University is in the top 20%.