Tuesday 14th November 2017
Professor Sir Mark Walport, CEO-designate of UK Research and Innovation, today launched the beta release of konfer – a unique innovation brokerage tool opening up research, researchers and services in UK universities to businesses and other organisations looking for new ideas and collaborations.
The idea is simple: Google meets LinkedIn for university collaboration. You search for what you want – an expert, a paper, a piece of equipment, a business or charity partner. And you email the person via konfer and if the contact wants to connect you are off.
“konfer is a unique innovation tool opening up research, researchers and services in UK universities to businesses and other organisations looking for new ideas and collaborations. It will be helpful in translating the brilliant research within our universities into jobs, growth and innovation to support the economy.” said Professor Sir Mark Walport.
Created by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) with the Research Councils (RCUK) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) konfer will make it easier to find collaboration opportunities and partners.
David Sweeney, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange at HEFCE and Executive Chair Designate of Research England, said: “konfer promotes stronger commercialisation, business and policy links and wider societal engagement with publicly funded research. It opens out what universities and research institutes do to a wider audience and I’m delighted to see it reaching full launch stage following development work with universities and businesses of all sizes.”
“Through konfer entrepreneurs, startups, and larger organisations can gain easy access to funding, resources, expertise and innovation opportunities, enabling our universities to find commercial project partners in a simple and straightforward way” said David Docherty, CEO, National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB).
Funded by the Research Councils UK and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, konfer was developed by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) to support collaborations between UK universities and businesses and was released in Alpha in May 2016 for testing.
For businesses, charities and individuals it opens the treasury of research, researchers and services in UK universities and research institutions. For academics, Konfer is a way to search for impact and funding partners, or just to share the sheer joy of knowledge.
Konfer gives direct access to:
• 119,000+ academics
• 15,000+ facility and equipment listings
• 1.5m web pages
• 62,000+ YouTube videos from university channels
• 200,000+ news, funding and events opportunities from curated feeds
• 50,000+ publicly funded research projects
The alpha test phase included working groups with universities and business, driving how the platform harnesses and presents results. With users at the heart, konfer now offers an improved look and feel; optimised search functionality with use of improved data sets and elastic search; improved map functionality of expertise across the UK; and promotional and collaboration opportunities through profiles and posts.
National Centre for Universities and Business
Inspiring universities and business to work together for sustainable growth and prosperity.
As a membership not-for-profit organisation, the National Centre brings together leaders from across higher education and business to tackle issues of shared interest.
For further information please contact:
Head of Communications – Shivaun Meehan