The National Conference of University Foundations, in the Italian acronym, the CNFU, is a non-profit association established in 2007 by seven higher education foundations affiliated with the Universities of L’Aquila, Salerno, Teramo, the IULM of Milan, the IUAV of Venice, the Polytechnic of Milan and the Marco Biagi Foundation, at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Over the years a number of other foundations have joined, with the result that the association currently has 12 members.

The Conference, while respecting the autonomy of the individual University Foundations, provides coordination and issues guidelines, while promoting the in-depth study of issues facing the Foundations, the public authorities and territory, and representing their needs and orientations inspired by an awareness of their interests that go beyond those of individual sectors and categories.

The Conference also engages in relations with national and international companies, associations and organisations, while promoting exchanges at all levels, and taking initiatives to strengthen the activities aimed at transferring the competences of the Universities to the territory.

In 2016, in collaboration with the Universities of the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Alma Mater Foundation at the University of Bologna, the Marco Biagi Foundation hosted the annual conference on:  “Universities and University Foundations at the service of innovation and the knowledge economy: Synergies for the future of the country”.