Computer Laboratory

Industrial Collaboration with the Computer Laboratory

The Computer Laboratory welcomes the opportunity to engage in industrial research with companies and has a significant number of current industrial collaborators. There are a broad range of ways to do this, each of which can be tailored to the needs of individual companies and the specific objectives in hand. Consultancy is often appropriate for very short term requirements, but we often build up larger research projects to investigate longer term needs.

For members of the Supporters' Club, we are always happy to set up a visit to the Gates Building so that company staff can meet with members of our academic staff to discuss potential collaborations or receive a small amount of free discussion of technical issues.

Successful collaborators cite a number of benefits to a company of industrial engagements with the Laboratory. A key one is developing good personal relationships between company employees and key academics and research students, thereby attracting people to work in the company's field of interest. The research project provides a structure and reason for frequent interaction between both parties allowing mutual understanding to develop. The research end products themselves may have commercial value. The PhD students conducting the research may wish to continue their work by becoming employees of the sponsoring company or may refer colleagues for full time jobs. The Laboratory can then become a strategic asset, building expertise in a relevant field to the company and becoming a source of ideas and people.

Different funding opportunities are available.

Industrial involvement in grants from governmental bodies.

Supporting a grant application to the EPSRC.

The Laboratory receives a good proportion of its research income from the EPSRC, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Grant applications that are supported by industry tend to be looked on favourably. Industry support ranges from a simple letter of support, written in collaboration with the academic who is applying, through support in kind, such as providing software for advice, to providing financial support.

Joint grant applications to the European Union.

Several of the European Union's research schemes are appropriate for industry-university collaboration. The Laboratory has been involved in several of these over the past two decades.

To engage with the Laboratory

First identify an academic who has a major interest in a field relevant to you and arrange to come and see them to discuss possibilities.

A list of research projects is available on the web. If you need assistance in identifying a relevant academic, contact Prof. Andy Hopper via supporters-club-organiser@cl.cam.ac.uk

In discussion with the relevant academic, develop a suggested research programme. The Laboratory will then prepare costing and suggested terms for final negotiation.