Manchester Innovation Labs

Facilitating collaborative research between the University and business

The University of Manchester has developed a robust, effective means of engaging with companies, as a mechanism to co-develop research projects that address a business need. The Manchester Innovation Labs comprise a half day workshop, designed and facilitated by creative consultancy FutureEverything, where businesses work in small groups with a team of multidisciplinary academics to develop a research project and pitch proposals for seed corn funding to a panel of experts.

The Innovation Labs have led to several successful outcomes for the University and companies including collaborative research funding proposals funded PhDs; new cross-disciplinary relationships within The University; academics who are more confident in the value of engaging with businesses; businesses that see the benefit of academic engagement and relationships that can be leveraged for other projects.

The University is planning further Innovation Labs for the future.

It has been fantastic to see people talking about a problem that they felt they could lend their expertise to.

Jackie Carter / Professor of Social Statistics, The University of Manchester

Academics bring broad experience of analytics and theory and how to apply that in a very practical situation.

Chris Moore / Managing Director, KikaPay