C O A L F A C E R

academic engagement at the coalface of industry


Supporting the spectrum from basic to applied

TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH

The old fashioned way

GRANTS ARE INSUFFICIENT AND INEFFICIENT

With:

  • - grant funding success rates routinely dwarfed by the rate at which research applications are assessed as suitable for funding, but ultimately unsuccessful;
  • - the increasingly politicalised nature of government support for research; and
  • - the failure to account for interdisciplinary research or collaborations in grant assessment matrices.

The system does not serve its purpose. It produces a market failure because research creators publicly disseminate their research in circumstances where there can be no commercial protection of the discovery for those who develop through the phases required to make it ready for application.


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FAILED MARKETS

On the one hand, when research is funded from the public purse, it becomes subject to a condition that the research is shared publicly and openly (whether this is true in the context of the academic journal market is a consideration for another time). Open sharing means that intellectual property protection in the form of a patent can no longer be obtained, and for the most part, university resources do not extend to the point at which that protection can be secured for every publicised discovery. Many innovative discoveries go directly to graveyard because participants in industry, who may see potential application for the research, cannot protect the investment they would be required to make to develop the research and take it to market. In consequence, no further investment in the application of that research is made. This cannot be said to be the true intention of public dissemination of research.

On the other hand, if industry gets involved whilst the research is being undertaken, perceptions of bias (actual or perceived), conflicts of interest and commercial control commonly arise. Academic freedom to pursue impartial, independent research is curtailed.

In each of these cases, the pipeline assumes a linear transaction, which will see a clean handover from research to business. This idea is not fit for purpose.


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MYTH BUSTING

Change in this field means taking another look at some long-held, commonly accepted ideas that are core to the research community. This is as true for industry as it is for research, and further still for the finance industry, who traditionally stay away from this market. What's worse, many policy-makers don't appreciate the market which is being regulated.

There are plenty of examples of where things have gone off-track. However, the prevailing views that have formed can be changed. Take a look at the common criticisms and see if you think our view about addressing them might have half a chance of setting things in direction that works.


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INDUSTRY ALIGNMENT FROM THE OUTSET

For too long, the approach has been to serve one side of the market at the cost of the core values of the other side. Our mission is to enable the shared purpose of discovery as well as the dual purposes of sharing research resources with the public at large and the wider research community, and promoting commercialisation and public application of those discoveries.

Coalfacer offers a platform for researchers (typically at universities or research institutions) and reserarch-users (typically in industry) to personalise research programs, and identify relevant resources, participants and sponsors from the outset.

We've made it easy to draw out relevant considerations for a counterparty and to structure a project proposal that complies with governance, ethics and regulatory policies as well as sound commercial principles for project participants.

The co-design of a project, the use of relevant resources and the engagement with appropriately skilled partners from the other side of the field, can enhance potential for translation from research to industry, and back to research again.


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CREATE OR FIND A PROJECT
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STRUCTURE THE PROJECT TEAM
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MEASURE THE IMPACT
Our solution enhances

RESEARCH IMPACT

Magnet
Communication

Attract compatible talent and resources to your research project

Agmt
Transaction

Adaptive transaction structures optimised for legal, tax, governance and regulatory issues, as well as internal policies and preferences

Speedo
Impact

Measure the societal and economic impact of your research engagement

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PROJECTS
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HAPPY PARTNERS
611
RESEARCH RESOURCES
  • I was able to use the funding, resources and authority of the Council of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to conduct primary research whilst having access to their database to aid analysis with tangible comparisons in circumstances where publicly accessible data would have made my work redundant. The Council made use of my findings in its reporting and planning.
    Melody StrongClimate Change Researcher, UCL
  • We received a visit at our manufacturing factory and exchanged briefings relating to our design proposal. Since completion of the project, we are in the process of focussing our attention on two of the ideas that were developed through the project could be developed for possible use within our product range.

    It is a very exciting project for us.
    Nigel FitzhughOrmiston Wire
  • Here at Brunel, we encourage students to work with industry in several ways, from summer and capstone placements, to courses delivered around an industry problem or challenge. We work hard to attract industry, from large corporates to SMEs to bring their challenges to our researchers.
    Michelle KavanBrunel University, London
Our community supports your success

INSIGHTS

We share from our experience in communicating complex ideas and structuring industry aligned projects and programs optimised for legal, tax, regulatory and financial concerns


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Continuum
Grant funding, Research Impact

Grant funding: long over due for a rethink

Ranking and counting publications is a readily discernable, binary method for, well, ranking and counting publications. Accountability amongst public purse protectors is important. So, rather than use metrics that conform to public expectations, it's been long accepted practice to use metrics that can readily be counted, despite them being ill suited for the purpose to which they are put forward to justify Read More - March 2016
Knot
Impact economics, Research impact, Technology transfer

Failed Markets: economic analysis of the research funding paradigm

There is an assumption that knowledge is shared as perfectly formed information, and that no special skills or resources are required on the part of the individual users, for it to be understood and implemented. Read More - March 2016
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