In this KTP between Techbuyer – a multinational IT hardware supplier – and the University of East London, saw the business develop a new sister company and tool named Interact. The tool helps organisations optimise their IT hardware to be more efficient and environmentally friendly. Its detailed reporting provides optimum solutions for cost, energy reduction and carbon savings.

About Techbuyer

Techbuyer is a global leader in the buying, refurbishing and selling of enterprise IT equipment. Not only does the company sell brand-new IT parts, it uses parts such as servers, memory and storage and turns them into low-cost, quality refurbished IT equipment.

Founded in 2005, Techbuyer has grown from a company run by just two people, to a global business with multiple warehouse facilities located worldwide. 

About Interact 

The outcome of the KTP between the University of East London and Techbuyer was a new SaaS offering, and sister company named Interact. The two organisations carried out a two year research project to develop the tool, with Academic leadership provided by Dr. Rabih Bashroush, a world expert on energy usage in the digital sector. 

The startup helps data centres increase energy efficiency, decrease costs and reduce the environmental impact of their IT hardware with a vendor neutral smart tool fed by real time product data from across the server market.

The tool conducts component and rack level analysis to recommend vendor neutral new and remanufactured solutions for hardware. Its detailed reporting provides optimum solutions for cost, energy reduction and carbon savings.

What’s happening now? 

Interact was launched in 2020 and is already gaining recognition in the market. Most notably, the startup has scored a number of major awards including a silver Stevie® for Tech Start-up of the Year (Software) at the International Business Awards, the shortlist in the UK IT Industry Awards’ UK Innovation and Entrepreneurship category and NTA’s Start-Up Technology of the Year award. 

The fledgling startup has been successful in its contribution to sustainability and was celebrated in DCS Awards’ Data Centre Efficiency Project of the Year, CRN Awards’ Sustainable IT Project of the Year, and in the Tech for Good category at the UK Business Tech Awards.

“When we wanted to take Interact from theory to reality but we lacked the expertise outside hardware-focused offerings. We also had limited experience finding and collaborating with a research body to give us that expertise. The KTP with the University of East London gave us the confidence and funding to take that jump from hardware to a SaaS proposition. 

We benefited from not only the experience of the Academic but also the KTA, who helped us balance the risks, gave us a project structure and has subsequently opened a world of opportunities within academia including new networks and expertise. 

We have used this newfound confidence to take research seriously within the organisation. Not only have we set up a sister company that incorporates the KTP team, our Technical Lead Rich Kenny has set up a new dedicated IT research team where a member of  the Future Leaders Fellowship from UKRI works closely with our KTP Associate Nour Rteil, now lead developer at Techbuyer.”

Astrid Wynne, KTP Chair and Sustainability Lead at Techbuyer.

About Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are a dynamic three-way collaboration between a business or not for profit organisation, one of the UK’s world-class knowledge bases, and a suitably qualified graduate. 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are funded by a grant to the university from Innovate UK and other government co-funders, and a cash contribution from the business involved. The programme is delivered by Knowledge Transfer Network, a network partner of Innovate UK. Interested in learning more? Find out here.

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