The Knowledge Exchange (KE) partners are six key national organisations within Europe tasked with developing infrastructure and services to enable the use of digital technologies to improve higher education and research: CSC in Finland, CNRS in France, the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education in Denmark, DFG in Germany, Jisc in the UK and SURF in the Netherlands.
We share a clear vision that scholarship should be open. Through Knowledge Exchange we are working together to support the development of digital infrastructures to enable open scholarship. We inform national and international policies and promote common approaches, to enable scholarship to cross national boundaries.
We share our knowledge, experiences and resources, bringing our experts together.
Digital technologies create innovative opportunities to advance research and higher education. Open scholarship is one of these opportunities.
Opening up access to scientific outputs (including publications, data and software) and encouraging open methods and collaboration can:
- improve transparency and engender greater trust in research
- increase the effective sharing and use of research
- support wider participation in research
All of these possibilities are underpinned by digital technologies.
Our vision is to enable open scholarship by supporting an information infrastructure on an international level.
Knowledge Exchange activities support the individual agendas of the six partner organisations. The activities also advance progress towards achieving our shared vision.
We are increasing the impact of partner activities by exchanging knowledge between experts in the area of digital technologies for research and higher education.
We are building on those exchanges to inform developments in information infrastructure, including technical as well as the organisational, policy and economic aspects.
We are exchanging best practice, practical solutions and innovative approaches to improve all aspects of each partner's performance. This will ensure that they can create more effective solutions.
How we work
We are committed to exchange between partner organisations all relevant developments, challenges and opportunities, as well as outcomes and results.
Each Knowledge Exchange partner organisation has appointed a representative and they meet regularly to exchange information and discuss opportunities to work on emerging challenges.
Exchange between experts
We bring together experts from each of our partner organisations and also from elsewhere when appropriate to identify urgent challenges and promising opportunities in their fields of expertise. This informs the decision-making of all partner organisations.
Knowledge Exchange's current focus is on open access and open scholarship and we have expert groups in place for each. Their role is to identify issues and propose actions for Knowledge Exchange and this leads to studies, workshops and other activities. We involve experts from the wider research community and expert consultants as necessary.
Careful and flexible use of our resources
Each year, Knowledge Exchange partners' senior management meet in a strategy forum to confirm where we should focus our efforts for the coming 12 months. They reflect on the focus areas and prioritise aspects of these such as paying attention to sustainable business models.
Annual activity plans are refined with input from our expert groups and then approved by the Knowledge Exchange steering group. Annual plans are deliberately flexible whenever new developments or opportunities emerge we can very quickly mobilise our experts.
Before we engage in any activity the steering group considers:
- will working on this issue help partner organisations to work better?
- are other organisations already working on it? Or should they be?
- will Knowledge Exchange's active involvement really make a difference?
Sometimes it will be more efficient for us to leave some activities to other bodies, to partner with other organisations, or perhaps to bring relevant parties together and leave them to it.
Starting discussions in 2004, the first public announcement about the Knowledge Exchange initiative was made December 2005 at the Online Educa conference in Berlin. Four organisations: DEFF, DFG, Jisc and SURF signed a Collaboration Agreement for three years, and renewed the agreement in the following years. In 2013 CSC joined the initiative; in 2017 CNRS joined Knowledge Exchange as a partner.
In 2019 the six partners agreed to continue working together in Knowledge Exchange for another 3 years. In the same year DEFF was replaced by the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education as the partner organisation to represent Denmark.
The Knowledge Exchange is happy with the current membership organisations and is not actively looking for additional partners, without excluding the possibility of changes in membership in the future.