Business Fellows Network


The Connected Places Catapult Business Fellows Network is a network of experts joint funded by the Connected Places Catapult and participating academic institutions with strong records in transport research and innovation across the UK.

The aim is to bring university outputs closer to commercialisation and enable academics to increase their industry engagement, entrepreneurship and research impact as well as creating commercial and CR&D opportunities between the Connected Places Catapult, universities and industry.

Business Fellows play an instrumental role in helping Connected Places Catapult to foster more collaborations, leading to large scale CR&D submissions, with an ultimate goal of growing UK Plc by maximising the alignment of academic effort with social and economic needs. 

Wave 1 ran from January to December 2019, engaging 14 Business Fellows across 13 Universities. Business Fellows were based in their academic partner institutions, bringing research outputs closer to commercialisation. This enabled academics to increase their industry engagement, entrepreneurship and research impact to support their universities to achieve Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) targets.  

Business Fellows are Knowledge Exchange Experts who identify opportunities for deeper university / CPC – industry collaborations that accelerate pace, scale and impact of CR&D. Business Fellows will work with CPC  Solutions Architects, Technology Teams and with specific bid teams, to source appropriate university inputs to CPC-led consortia.  They will engage most appropriate academics from relevant disciplines (engineering, human factors, business, data, etc). This is achieved through 1:1 pairing between the successful Fellows and internal CPC experts (or ‘buddies’), and use of a secure shared Microsoft Teams channel as the platform for capturing interaction. 

What we are offering

We now welcome applications for one of the 15 positions available, aligned with our initiative areas: Built Environment, Mobility, Future Air Mobility, Public Space, Wellbeing, Critical Infrastructure and Decision Making & Institutions.

Fellows will identify high quality research at partner universities aligned with the CPC’s focus areas, supporting CPC in mapping capabilities and assets of interest to us. In return, CPC offers unrivalled channels of influence to the research landscape (UKRI), innovation ecosystems (Innovate UK), and all the national and local government agencies and authorities with whom we work. Critically, the Business Fellows Network brings Fellows into close conversation with our own subject matter experts who support Fellows growth, and the exciting range of SMEs we work with across the UK.

The Business Fellows shall work two days per month on Connected Places Catapult related activities. One day per month will be funded by  Connected Places Catapult, the other day will be sponsored by the university.

We will supply a collaborative agreement for all invited Fellows to share with their university, and signing up to this will be a requirement to begin the Fellowship in January 2021.

Business Fellows will need to:

  • Be active within Knowledge Exchange, working within a UK Higher Education Institution
  • Be well connected within their own institution;
  • Have a strong understanding of the industry and university interface, current research outputs and track record of successful CR&D and / or enterprise.

We want to understand what research relevant to Connected Places Catapult  initiative areas is taking place across the UK, and then connect the experts who are doing this research with businesses who can utilise their knowledge and skills to create new technologies and develop new products and services.

How to Apply 

Please read the Role Outline description, and if interested, submit your up-to-date CV together with a completed application form. You can download these below:

Application forms should be submitted the Head of Academic Engagement at: 

Please write “BFN Application” as the subject of the email. 


Deadline for applications will be: 2nd December 2020

Online interviews will take place between: 7th and 14th December 2020

Decisions on award of successful Fellows: 18th December 2020

Start date for 12-month Fellowship: 4th January 2021

For any questions you may have regarding the application please contact: 

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