In 2015, the National Centre convened a group of public stakeholders to fund a survey that would canvass all UK academics about how and why they engage with the business, public, and third sectors. The survey reached out to 130,000 academics between March and October in 2015, and achieved over 18,000 responses.

Some of the key findings were:

  • Advancing research and testing findings are the main motivations for academics to engage externally
  • Commitment to institutional mission is the second most important driver of external engagement
  • Nearly 70% of academics report pursuing user-inspired or applied research