At Cranfield, we empower entrepreneurs to reach their full potential by providing an epicentre for entrepreneurial activity, bringing together like-minded people and providing them with all the tools they need to bring their ideas to life.

Download Cranfield's Knowledge Exploitation Strategy 2017-2020 (PDF)

Knowledge Exploitation Strategy 2017-2020

Our vision is for Cranfield’s innovative ideas and products to be recognised for their outstanding contribution to meet the needs of business, government and wider society.

We will deliver knowledge exploitation for:

  • Corporate clients,
  • Student start-ups; and
  • Staff entrepreneurs.

Much of this impact will derive from our transformational research and premier learning experience.

Knowledge will be exploited using a broad range of mechanisms including:

  • Industry funding of exploitation activities,
  • Sharing ownership with individuals where appropriate,
  • Leveraging public/private funding,
  • Knowledge transfer and licensing of innovations to end users; and
  • Enterprise creation through business start-ups and wider entrepreneurial activity.

This strategy aims to promote all these activities, to maximise value for Cranfield, and to increase Cranfield’s impact and influence in the 'real world'.

We will monitor our performance against agreed targets for:

  • Increasing patents and licensing deals,
  • Growing start-ups and licensing,
  • Improving industry interventions.

Objective 1: Client engagement (industry)


Strategic partnerships
To develop genuine two-way strategic partnerships with key corporate clients, external start-ups and public sector organisations.

To grow relationships with SMEs, including the ‘M’s.

To Provide and grow specialist incubation, ‘makerspace’ and acceleration facilities.

Objective 2: Staff & students (individual innovators)


Entrepreneurial staff
To Increase number of entrepreneurial staff (academics and others) having spin-outs, licensing deals.

Entrepreneurial students
To grow numbers of entrepreneurial students and early career researchers exploiting ideas and starting businesses.

External entrepreneurs
To promote co-operation with more associated external entrepreneurs, including alumni.

Objective 3: Finance (investment return)


To grow income for industry projects.

Contracts and philanthropy
To Increase future income through contracts and philanthropic giving by successful staff and student entrepreneurs.

Licensing and consultancy
To Increase income from licensing, additional consultancy and leveraged public/private funding.