Sphere February 2021, Sustainable Earth Institute. House with plant walls
If you're interested in contributing to a future edition of Sphere, please email the Sustainable Earth Institute on sei@plymouth.ac.uk

“To succeed as a modern economy in the twenty-first century, we need our universities to be ever more competitive in the creation, transmission and exploitation of knowledge.” 

Department for Education
The KEF was first introduced by the Government in the Industrial White Paper (2017) as a mechanism to increase the effectiveness of knowledge exchange. With a pilot year in 2020, universities have been asked to annually submit data and narratives to demonstrate their impact across a range of knowledge exchange areas from working with businesses to public engagement. The KEF provides an opportunity for universities to shine a light on their existing knowledge exchange activity and ensure future activity is aligned with economic and social development. 
The University of Plymouth has a strong focus on delivering real-world impact through knowledge exchange and support for innovation. We have a strong track record of engaging with businesses, communities and policy makers while also promoting public and community engagement in our research. The SEI is an excellent example of how we approach knowledge exchange at Plymouth and the institute is supporting the delivery of a portfolio of projects which work in partnership to engage, and benefit, the wider world. 
This publication highlights how approaches such as the citizen assembly ‘learn-hear-deliberate” format is engaging people in science, while our recently opened Sustainability Hub is being used by community groups. Engagement runs through RURITAGE, a 4-year research project to engage communities in regeneration through natural and cultural heritage. 
Working in partnership is a critical part of our approach; you can read about the work with Plymouth Boat Trips to produce the UK's first electric passenger boat, with Pollenize to increase our urban bee population and with Plymouth City Council to impact on sustainability policy in the city. The Low Carbon Devon project offers up the support available for Devon enterprises to work with our academics to move towards a sustainable low carbon economy. 
Looking at how research at the University has led to commercialisation in the wider world, we share the success story of Ginium in an interview with two graduates, and the research behind PulsiV, a spin-out company of the University, which will increase the efficiency of energy delivered to the grid via solar power. 
Ensuring our work makes a difference is fundamental to how we work and the contents of this edition of SPHERE showcase just a small amount of the exciting and relevant work we’re involved in. 
Allice Hocking
Head of Research Impact and Partnerships
Key areas in the KEF
  • Research partnerships
  • Working with business
  • Working with the public and third sector
  • Skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Local growth and regeneration
  • IP and commercialisation
  • Public and community engagement

Research partnerships for a low carbon Devon

Organisations across Devon are keen to reduce their carbon output to help tackle the climate emergency and Devon is blessed with many enterprises already operating in the low carbon sector. The Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon Project has been developed to support these enterprises and catalyse action around cutting carbon.
Sphere February 2021, Sustainable Earth Institute. House with plant walls

Community engagement

Offering a welcoming and inclusive space, the Sustainability Hub brings people together to connect, exchange knowledge and work collaboratively on shared sustainability goals. 
We are looking forward to the post-covid future where the space becomes a Hub for action across the University and action across Plymouth, Devon and the wider world.
Sphere February 2021 sustainability hub