Skip to main content

HE Provider Data: Business and Community Interaction 2020/21

The Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey gathers data on UK universities' engagement in the economy, knowledge exchange, and the wider application of their work.

View Higher Education Provider Data: Business and Community Interaction

The data shows 4,528 new spin-off and start-up companies were founded by graduates in 2020/21, a rise of 16% from the 2019/20 figure. These new companies contribute to a total of over 15,500 active graduate start-up firms employing over 46,000 people (full-time equivalent).

2,078 new patents were granted to HE providers in 2020/21. These contributed to a total portfolio of 24,035 patents, of which 12,929 are held overseas. Total revenues from intellectual property for the sector stood at £284 million in 2020/21.

Other sources of income recorded in the survey include £1.8 billion from Collaborative research involving public funding, and £1.4 billion from Contract research.

The HE-BCI survey is currently undergoing a major review to ensure that knowledge exchange data in UK higher education meets the needs of researchers and policymakers


  • Read more about the HE-BCI major review.
  • In previous years, qualitative and factual data about HE providers' strategies and approaches to business and community interaction were collected and published in Table A of the HE-BCI open data release. From 2020/21 this section of the data collection has been suspended. The future re-introduction of this data will be explored during the ongoing HE-BCI major review.
  • See Definitions: HE - Business and Community Interaction for full definitions of terms used in the release and explanation of the coverage of statistics.
  • See Upcoming data releases for a schedule of Official Statistics releases from HESA.
  • HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
Press Release

Press Officer