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HE Provider Data: Business and Community Interaction - open data release

Results of the HE Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey reveal the extent of UK universities' engagement in the economy and the application of their work outside of academic environments.

The survey includes details of spin-off and start-up companies associated with HE providers. In 2017/18 140 new spin-off companies were formed from university-owned intellectual property. A further 4129 start-ups were formed by staff and graduates of HE providers.1

Over the 2017/18 academic year HE providers were granted 1707 patents2 and generated over £207 million of revenue from intellectual property3 in 2017/18.

Business and community engagement measured by the survey includes income generated from collaborative research (£1.4 billion), contract research (£1.3 billion), consultancy (£471 million), facilities and equipment hire (£228 million), CPD and continuing education (£698 million) and regeneration and development programmes (£224 million).4

The survey also measures social, community and cultural engagement, with HE providers recording over 25 million attendees at free lectures, performances and exhibitions over the academic year.

Full results of the survey are published as open data, freely available for re-use under a Creative Commons 4.0 licence. Most data tables in the release include four years of data, with older data free to download from HESA’s publication archive.

If you have comments or suggestions about today’s release please give feedback via the Open data feedback form.


Chart 1 - Spin-offs and start-up companies

Academic years 2014/15 to 2017/18


Chart 2 - Income from business and community interactions

Academic years 2014/15 to 2017/18



  1. See Table 4e in Intellectual property, start-ups and spin-offs.
  2. See Table 4a in Intellectual property, start-ups and spin-offs.
  3. See Table 4d in Intellectual property, start-ups and spin-offs.
  4. See Chart 2 in Business and community services.
  5. Figures in this release relate to the academic year 1 August 2017 to 31 July 2018.
  6. See Definitions: HE - Business and Community Interaction for full definitions of terms used in the release and explanation of the coverage of statistics.
  7. See Upcoming data releases for a schedule of Official Statistics releases from HESA.
  8. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
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