Skip to main content

The effects of changes in university funding on knowledge exchange (CIMR debates and workshops in public policy)

Venue: Online

Book your place

Join the Centre for Innovation Management Research on Wednesday 26 May to explore the effects of changes in university funding on knowledge exchange. Part of the CIMR Debates and Workshops in Public Policy series.

  • Panelists: Dr Alex Chaix (UKRI), Dr Andrea Filippetti (CNR, Rome), Dr Abhijit Sengupta (University of Surrey)
  • Chair: Dr Federica Rossi (Birkbeck, University of London)


  • Introductions by the Chair
  • Presentation by Abhijit Sengupta. Title: Impact of changes in university funding on KE profiles – A study of UK universities
  • Presentation by Andrea Filippetti. Title: “About the economic nature of knowledge, or why do we need public research”  
  • Presentation by Alex Chaix. Topic: A practitioner’s point of view on changes in funding and changes in approaches taken by university sector towards KE.
  • Q&A Session for all Panellists led by Federica

Policy interventions have played a key role in turning knowledge exchange engagement into a core university mission. Universities have been encouraged to exploit their intellectual property, placed socioeconomic impact at the core of universities’ performance evaluation, and very crucially, altered the nature of funding for the sector. In many countries, public funding for academic research and education has shrunk, spurring universities to increasingly rely on private sources of income. Allocation mechanisms for existing public funding models have changed as well, with an increased emphasis on performance-based funding.

While the effects of changes in funding sources on universities’ teaching and research activities have been investigated extensively, not much is known about the effects on universities’ KE engagement. This workshop intends to discuss the effect of changes in the composition of universities’ funding sources on how universities interact with external stakeholders and who they interact with.

Key questions for discussion will be:

  • To what extent are private sources of funding becoming more important for universities? Are there differences between universities?
  •  Does increasing reliance on private funding sources affect universities’ engagement with industry and other external stakeholders?
  • Does the composition of private funding – e.g. the relative importance of income from tuition fees, knowledge exchange , donations and endowments, etc. – matter for universities’ knowledge exchange strategies?
  • What is a ‘good’ balance between public and private funding for universities, and how can it be achieved?


Dr Alex Chaix is Head of Commercialisation for UK Research and Innovation.  In his role, Alex contributes to the development of innovative models and approaches to address barriers to the successful translation and commercialiation of research outputs. He has a specific interest on new ventures creation. Alex Chaix has a PhD in fundamental genetics from the University of Leicester. For the last 15 years, he has worked in helping transfer knowledge from the academic base to industry from the perspective of a University, public organisations and a Government Department.

Dr Andrea Filippetti is Research Director at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Adjunt Professor of Managerial Economics at Luiss University in Rome, and Visiting Fellow at the Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, University of London. He has graduated and taken his Phd in Economic Science at the University "La Sapienza" of Rome. He is interested in the institutions and political economy of decentralization, innovation, the globalization of intellectual property rights, technological change and productivity growth.

Dr Federica Rossi is Reader in Innovation Policy and Management at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research interests focus on science and technology policy, the economics and management of intellectual property rights, innovation activities of firms and networks of firms, the economics and governance of the higher education sector. She has authored numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and books. She collaborated with the OECD, the EC/Eurostat and regional and local development agencies. She has also worked on several national and international research projects.

Dr Abhijit Sengupta is a Reader in Business Analytics at Surrey Business School, University of Surrey. Abhijit's current research interests are in the areas of innovation and technology management, global strategy and complex systems modelling. He has published in leading journals such as Research Policy, British Journal of Management, Journal of World Business, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, among others. He holds a PhD in Economics from Stony Brook University, New York.


Contact name: