30,000 delegates from 100 countries, 3 weeks of events, exhibitions and conferences as well as countless business deals and networking, the International Festival of Business is arguably the greatest business show on earth.

Opened by the Chancellor George Osbourne the festival kicked off in June and the event was a hive of activity throughout.

National Centre staff attended event throughout, as part of the Specialist Advisor Lounge. We offered advice and guidance to the delegates on working with universities and some of the support we can provide.

In the few days I spent in the advisor lounge, I was able to talk to a broad range of people interested in business/university collaboration, and about some of the work we have been doing, including our recent work experience report and the State of the Relationship for 2016.

There has also been a lot of interest with konfer, our online brokerage tool. This makes sense given that it’s an online tool for connecting businesses and universities, enabling users to discovee, learn and connect with a university at the click of a button.

We also led a ‘Meet the Expert’ session entitled: Open Innovation: Helping you find the knowledge to grow your business.

The session focused on how open innovation – which suggests that in a highly complex and specialised environment, companies cannot always find the answers internally in the R&D departments, but should look for ideas and inspiration outside the business – can help business innovate and grow.

So, despite the extraordinary numbers that are associated with IFB, it was actually the personal conversations that we had with inquisitive businesses, entrepreneurs and experts that had the most impact.