NEF: The Innovation Institute

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NEF: The Innovation Institute is a UK-based not for profit registered charity and think tank founded in 2004 by Prof. Sa'ad Medhat,[1] which focuses on developing vocational education. The organisation works to improve standards of teaching and training in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), through working closely with further education colleges and businesses throughout the United Kingdom, and provides direct services to technical professionals in the learning and skills sector. It also works with government to affect policy[2] and increase standards in vocational education.[3]

Guided by its Innovation Council,[4] NEF: The Innovation Institute influences policy and supports its members, partners and stakeholders to achieve performance excellence and stimulate innovation.


NEF Operates:

In Industry

NEF works with over 500 companies impacting their business performance and talent development NEF has a mandate to assure the skills in all the UK Nuclear Site Licensed companies working closely with the National Skills Academy Nuclear.

In Government

NEF works with Government and agencies to support innovation and knowledge and technology transfer programmes.

In Education

NEF’s engagement through evidential research and think tanks has shaped a number of whitepapers and policies to support scientific development and growth. NEF has supported the professional development of some 2000 lecturers and awarded grants to over 250 colleges in the UK which has positively impacted some 450,000 students NEF has implemented science, engineering and technology strategies in over 50 educational providers and assurance schemes to support local and regional economic development in line with Intelligent College Model to ensure educational providers deliver 21st century fit for the purpose learning. NEF works closely with over 40 universities to support workplace learning and innovation programmes [5]

NEF is involved in multiple areas of educational development, including:

Masterclasses and Briefings - Professional development masterclasses[6] and briefings[7] on a variety of STEM topics, including renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, low carbon technologies and digital communications.

Industrial Fellowship Scheme - A national scheme which enables each participating college to apply for a grant towards the secondment of up to three Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lecturers to take secondments in industry, with local businesses or research organisations. The scheme updates teaching programmes and methods and enables them to develop relationship with local businesses. The IFS scheme has engaged more than 160 further education colleges, and has seen FE lecturers seconded to over 350 companies nationwide.[8]

NEF Assured - A standard developed by NEF for assuring deliverers of training in a particular sector. This assures organisations which deliver in-house training by adding a sector specific component to existing and widely used quality assurance standards and systems. The standard is targeted towards businesses and learning providers operating in the specific sectors including Aerospace, Power, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Nuclear, Health, Transportation, and the Environment.[9]

STEM Assured - A standard specifically developed for colleges by NEF to assure quality in an integrated, cross-curricular approach to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teaching in further education. The process involves a critical review of a provider's strategy and approach to ensure their vocational STEM offer meets the needs of employers and sectors. The standard adds an industry-led assurance component to existing quality standards and systems.[10]

NEF GB[edit]

NEF GB is the commercial arm of the New Engineering Foundation. NEF GB offers educational products, tools and solutions to individuals, businesses and organisations engaged in learning and training.

NEF Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange[edit]

The NEF Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE) is a professional body for innovators.


External links[edit]