National Forum on Expert Finder Systems

About the Event

Expert finder systems (EFS) have been serving universities, businesses, and the research community for more than two decades. However, there are still no formal venues for EFS stakeholders to network, learn from each other, and help steer the future of this dynamic field.

The National Forum on Expert Finder Systems will provide a long-awaited opportunity for a national dialogue on EFS. Attendees will be able to share ideas and information about the current uses of such systems, the need for new features and functionalities to support emerging uses of EFS, best practices for starting and managing expert finder systems, and strategies for enhancing stakeholder engagement. The economic development impacts of EFS on a regional, state and national level will be addressed.

The forum will also offer the opportunity for stakeholders to explore the possibility of establishing a professional organization to provide leadership and develop ongoing events.

For more information check out the Event Report!

What Is an EFS?

Expert finder systems are directories, profiling sites, or social networking sites that employ knowledge management tools to gather, manage, and publish searchable information about expertise and resources.


Common Purposes

  • Support research by helping experts connect for the purpose of collaboration on discoveries, innovations, and pursuit of funding opportunities
  • Support economic development by matching businesses with expertise and resources that support their goals
  • Promote new technologies for licensing to businesses
  • Promote innovation and entrepreneurship by cross-disciplinary teams both inside and outside research institutions

Goals of the Forum


  • Stakeholders and their goals
  • Challenges in developing systems for research collaboration and economic development


  • Research on EFS community- and system-building
  • Promising practices
  • Value proposition and sustainability strategies
  • Semantic Web, taxonomies, and ontologies
  • How EFS supports economic development


  • Network with stakeholders
  • Discuss challenges and priorities
  • Outline plans for establishing future meetings
  • Outline plans for collaboration


EFS administrators and staff

EFS platform providers

Economic development professionals

Researchers studying RIMS

Research information management system administrators

Research commercialization administrators

Other stakeholders

Steering Committee