Faculty of Engineering

Collaborative research

We have an extremely strong record for collaboration with industry, public bodies and charities to solve specific technology problems and develop new products.

There are a variety of ways we provide assistance and work with companies ranging from short-term consultancy through to long-term research projects. Opportunities also exist to transfer expertise and know-how into a business.

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Industry-led research projects

The most common way we provide technology solutions for industry is via a research project, typically lasting one to four years. This research may be undertaken solely by the university who will employ an appropriate researcher to deliver the project, with regular industrial meetings to update on progress. Alternatively, companies may wish to undertake projects where they use university knowledge to supplement their own in-house expertise, with projects delivered through collaboration between university and company employees. 

For more information please contact our Engineering Research and Knowledge Exchange team.

Scientific research projects

When we need to apply for public funding for research, our applications are strengthened by relevant companies inputting into and agreeing to support the proposed research programme.

Common examples of a company's contribution include:

  • staff time for advisory and/or technical meetings
  • access to equipment
  • software or datasets
  • supply of consumables (possibly test samples) 
  • hosting researchers on-site to test new systems developed

Sponsored PhD studentships and staff training

PhD studentships are typically three to three and a half years long and there may be opportunities for companies to partially offset their cost, especially where a UK student can be recruited. The PhD student will work exclusively on your project, typically spending a placement period with the company - usually a minimum of three months. 

There are also a range of short courses offered within the university and we will consider requests for bespoke training courses. 

Industrial research fellow

A cost-effective method for long-term strategic partners to undertake research with a particular research group is to support an industrial research fellow. 

Here the company funds a researcher to undertake various short and long term projects on their behalf without the need to establish multiple research contracts. 

The advantages to industry include easy access to group resources, including academic expertise, and other sources of project funding. 


Industrial secondment

An alternative approach to strengthen links with industry is through industrial secondment where an academic or researcher works in a company for a short period of time, either on a full or part time basis, for between three and six months. 

The main aim of the secondment is for the researcher to gain state-of-the art industrial experience and update their knowledge of industry’s application of technology to their own area of expertise. 

The main benefit to the host company is that they gain a temporary but highly qualified member of staff. 

Technology licensing

The university has a specialist team responsible for protecting its intellectual property and, where appropriate, offers this for licensing to industry. The nature of university intellectual property is that it is frequently at an early stage and, most often, the University will work with industry to develop the technology in line with the specific needs and requirements of a company. 

Browse our current licensing opportunities


Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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