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Eulergy closes it's digital doors

At the beginning of January, the Eulergy.com website finally feel over itself after 3 years (due to changes with the host of the website). It is a testimont to Anthony Finch and Ben Byford's original work that it has been going for this period with little down time and alterations.

The Eulergy.com research match maker was conceived 5 years ago during Ben Byford's Masters degree at Goldsmiths and a workshop with the RSA. After a successful  Startup Weekend in London 2012, we put together a team and over the next year created Eulergy a website for connecting academics with business and vice versa for research, collaboration, support, experience, funding and more.

Over the last three years since go live we've had amazing feedback on the business, some 400 early adopters of the service and fantastic support from the  RSA and The Cube Shoreditch . Due to the lack of traction from students/academics/universities, and failed investment rounds, eulergy.com is closing it's digital doors. We've had a great time working on this idea and still believe it has legs. Please get in contact with us below and find out more about the founders and what we're doing now.

From myself and the Eulergy team thank you to everyone who has supported Eulergy in the last 5 years.

Team:

@benbyford

@d4n1e7e

@tigerchops

@charlotteBRF

@DaisyJCooper

Also thanks to:

@sara_sgm

Louise MacDonald

and

Adam Loxley

Categories: eulergy

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RSA research suggests using Eulergy

Last week the RSA released it's fifth publication as part on their City Growth Commission research entitled: UniverCities. The commission, funded in part by Universities UK , proposed to research and suggest practical advice to metros and universities for local economic and social growth.

RSA UniverCities

Eulergy  was suggested by the RSA on  page 10 as an emerging example of how to create business and university partnerships. The main two suggestions as part of the research sections on the paper was to fund research and teaching on a local as well as a national level; to

invest in a portfolio of proven and emerging models which engage SMEs in university partnerships.

SMEs are at the heart of Eulergy's business model and vision for growth. We hope to encourage specific and wide spread research collaboration between SME's, charities and governments with higher education institutions and their academics. This will encourage innovation within those organisations, as well as the support those research academics.

Given the importance of tertiary education and the global standing of our leading universities, mainstream funding for HEIs should continue to be based on standards of excellence for research and teaching.

We hope that organisations as well as government bodies join with us to help continue university lead research excellence.

Categories: eulergy

Tags: RSA, Collaboration, Research, Cities

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Bridging the barriers to university & business collaboration

I recently wrote a blog post for the National Centre for University and Business here called Barriers to university - business collaboration .

Below I wish to explore how Eulergy and other services can make collaboration easier.

Companies large and small

So you know you how want to look for hot new talent, some new innovations, a piece of very specific IP, or a pair of highly trained hands? Large companies have been dipping into universities for various reasons for hundreds of years, and rightly so.

Where else do you find people who effectively think for a living?

There are frustrations felt by both businesses and universities concerning the discovery of research, communication channels, general bureaucracy and IP. How these things can be addressed will be no mean no mean feat. I've heard many horror stories over the years of universities stifling collaboration through overzealous lawyers, lack of expertise (the university KTN worker isn't necessarily the most qualified person to appreciate the specific research you're handing them), or simply bad lines of communication for help with collaborations.

Eulergy is part of a few new services which hope to help communication internally and externally. Sites such as researchgate.net and  academia.edu provide networking for academics; mendeley.com provide document, forums and bibliography tools for collaborative research practises; and academic publishing is changing in line with  open access practises exampled with the UK's  Gateway to Research. Eulergy.com enables the communication between academics and business, or indeed other organisations, charities etc. through an online website in a central way - akin to these previous sites, allowing a small business to access specific research needs wherever that academic may reside.

Are you talking the right language?

During Eulergy's infancy it was pointed out that academia and the private sector talk in different languages. Both parties should be able to explain themselves adequately, given that when they do collaborate, they are effectively interested in the same area. However, a document fit for academic review and publishing can be worlds apart from a document fit for implementing in a business setting. It's important when collaborating on a research project to make clear both parties requirements, specifically referring to deliverables and style of delivery (e.g. summary of research in everyday style of writing).

Also, (controversial) not all research will have the desired outcome, the whole solution of a research project is to find something out, a known unknown. Expecting to firm up a business decision with some objective research may have the opposite effect for example, what had initially been intended, but in either case you should have learnt something and helped others too.

Is someone already doing this?

I believe half the problem with collaborating with a university is simply knowing who the best person to contact is. It's obviously advisable to research what it is you need first and see if someone has already solved it in some way. The catch 22 here is a lot research is either not published (dissertations gathering dust in libraries) or behind pay walls - this is changing but will still be the case for a while yet. Knowing that your problem / project is novel makes it both more attractive to a student, also instantly more worthwhile because it is something that is new and innovative.

It might be you find someone already investigating in your area, and at Eulergy we believe this is generally true. In which case, the chance for collaboration is much easier if you know that person/s are already interested in the research and would be interested in supporting its continuation.

Do you have some experience with a university or business collaboration? Do you have any words to help others? Please let us know below.

Categories: eulergy

Tags: Collaboration, Company, match

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Businesses collaborating with Universities: a Primer

The intersections between business and academia

Through my education as an undergraduate and Masters student in the UK, and later as the director of Eulergy.com, I have witnessed the various touch points that business currently has available with universities.

The reports from the NCUB , Sir Andrew Witty , Sir Tim Wilson The Work Foundation to name a few, all example the benefits of business / academic collaboration. But what are the options and what are the hurdles that can present themselves to this collaboration?

If you run a business then I hope this represents a short primer to accessing valuable research today.

There are lots of ways that businesses can engage with academia and the most popular are explored below. Categorising this list there are three main themes that appear - businesses recruiting, businesses accessing research or IP, business and universities accessing a community. The latter theme here generally corresponds to the increased trend in both university and business run enterprise incubation, and the output of these activities may vary, but they generally lay within brand exposure (for both business or universities) or accessing talent / IP.

Where else do you find people whose job it is is to think and innovate?

The most common ways of collaborating are:

Knowledge Transfer Partnership - Collaboration / IP

I won’t go into detail here as the article ‘What does a university gain from a Knowledge Transfer Partnership?’ by Dr Clive Hayter delves deeper. However, KTP’s and their representing departments lend themselves to medium and large sized businesses who have a longer project timeline and wish to further develop their ongoing relationship with a particular university. This can be a costly experience in resources as much as it may be in budget. However the scale of project may vary greatly enabling a tentative business to test the water first with a smaller project.

The KTP is secure in the knowledge transfer remit. They are set up to enable new academic projects exposure to collaboration within the sector for those students / academics involved and the production of new IP for the business. Cost: approx. £60,000 and up


Business Development / Enterprise centres - Community / Collaboration / IP

Enterprise centres, as described here, offer business services to students and alumni. Some centres work closely with KTP offices or house the KTP within themselves, and equally often offer incubation or accelerator connections. On a basic level enterprise centres are a great place to find students engaged in IP with direct business applications. Usually these cottage businesses are being supported in some way by the institution, usually by providing them desk space, grants, and professional services. The centres often engage with business to support some of these activities or to offer mentoring, and can be an effective way of building a relationship with a university without dropping a substantial investment.


Business incubators / accelerators - Community / Recruiting

Similarly, incubators have become more of a hot topic since the meteoric rise of the likes of  TechStars and are becoming more common place for universities to offer accelerator programs or prizes to support businesses coming out of universities. These can also be a good place to make small investments in product ideas as well as scout for business focused alumni for employment opportunities.


Careers - Collaboration / Recruiting

The careers office in most universities provide access to internships, vacancy boards, and graduate fairs. This department will be able to help businesses access students to work with for a semester or a study year which will then feedback into their courses. I’ve found careers departments to be extremely helpful as they bridge the short term needs of businesses accessing a university and expect to work with lots of enquirers.


Departments / lecturers - Awareness / Collaboration

I have done several talks at universities concerning startups / entrepreneurialism / technology / Eulergy.com and these often occur through societies or individuals in schools / departments. Course leaders are a good port of call for this but you’ll find that they are often very busy so the lead time on lecturers can vary.


Online - Collaboration / Community

Over the last few years a few online services have been making head way into making universities more accessible for businesses small and big.

Mykindacrowd  - helps businesses access research through prizes for students. Their one-to-many model works well with low level tasks and feedback on business ideas that need validation.

Eulergy.com  - works on a one-to-one or one-to-few model and therefore is aimed at higher level research found at post graduate levels and beyond. Eulergy aims to match a specific business need with a specific student or academic, which in turn feeds back into their own work. Students and academics can also propose research projects in order to attract funding and collaboration.

So there you have it: an introduction to the landscape of business / university intersections. I hope this was useful and will encourage more businesses to access universities for various reasons - where else do you find people whose job it is is to think and innovate?

Categories: resources

Tags: university, Company, Collaboration

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Eulergy.com walkthrough

Categories: video, resources, tutorial

Tags: eulergy, walkthrough

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