About Us

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Our Collaboration

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, DeiC 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.

Our vision

Our vision is to enable open scholarship by supporting an information infrastructure on an international level.

Our mission

Knowledge Exchange shall increase the impact of the Partner Organisations' activities by creating synergies through international exchange of knowledge between experts in the area of digital infrastructure and services for research and higher education.

Knowledge Exchange builds on the results of the expert exchanges to make an impact on developments in the field of information infrastructure. The information infrastructure that Knowledge Exchange aims to support includes technical as well as organisational, policy and economical aspects. Best practices, solutions and innovative approaches will be exchanged between the partners and where relevant with the partners' communities to push their contributions in support of open scholarship by improving their performance at all levels and creating more effective and efficient solutions.

By all its efforts Knowledge Exchange will support the individual agendas of the Partner Organisations and help to realise steps towards the shared vision.

Our strategy


Focus areas

The Knowledge Exchange (KE) will continue to conduct work on themes the focus areas Open Access and Open Scholarship. While these two areas are closely inter-connected, they will be treated as separate strands of activity. 


Open Scholarship Framework

To be able to fully include the broad range of perspectives that the transition to Open Scholarship needs, KE has developed the Open Scholarship Framework.

The Knowledge Exchange Open Scholarship Framework will be the model to address specific aspects within Open Scholarship. The emphasis of the work will move from mainly economic towards inclusion of technical and social dimensions.


Prioritised themes

Every three years KE re-evaluates it's focus and priorities. In the coming years KE will look for activities that fit into the following strategic themes:

  • Changing Evaluation in the context of Open Scholarship
  • Scholarly Communication and Publication Models of the future, including Plan S principles and implementation
  • FAIR data and software supporting reproducibility of research

In addition to the prioritised themes, KE partner KE partners will engage in peer-to-peer exchanges on other topics around the data science eco-system.

Strategic Priority Themes Knowledge Exchange in 2019-2021

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Strategic Priority Themes Knowledge Exchange in 2019-2021

How we work

Structural exchange

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.

Our history

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: DEFFDFGJisc 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, followed by DeiC in 2020, 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.

Our six partners share a clear vision that scholarship should be open. 

Through Knowledge Exchange we are working together to support the development of digital infrastructure to enable open scholarship.

Knowledge Exchange

A collaboration between

  • dfg
  • csc-it center for science
  • jisc
  • cnrs
  • surf
  • deic