The School has a number of mechanisms for linking to industry locally, across the UK and internationally. A wide range of opportunities exist for collaborative ventures in both teaching and research.
In addition to being central to a number of strategic partnerships between the University and major companies including IBM, AstraZeneca and the BBC, the School hosts a number of events aimed at engaging the industrial community with the developments and innovations within the School. These currently include:
- Industry Study Groups, a chance for companies to access expertise in the School to help solve industrial problems
- Industrial Advisory Board, to discuss curriculum development and strategies to promote industrial engagement
- Industrial Forum, to showcase teaching and research activities
- The Manchester Turing Lecture, in association with The IEE and BCS
- and a number of independent lectures and seminars.
To promote consultancy and development projects, the school has its own exploitation company, Manchester Informatics Ltd (MIL). MIL has had contracts with many major organisations across the world including: Sun in the US, Fujitsu Labs Europe, the UK Met Office and the European Space Agency. MIL is also active in licensing technology such as the Advanced Interfaces Group ICARUS software which allows rapid construction of virtual environments from digital still images and digital video sequences. ICARUS has been released for non-profit and commercial use, and large numbers of users have begun to apply it, mainly for special effects in the TV and film industries.
The School's expertise in knowledge and technology transfer is evident in the success of its spin-off companies, with seven companies having been founded since 1996.
Transitive, the School's first trans-atlantic spin-off boasts Apple and Silicon Graphics as customers and has recently announced a new alliance with Intel, with further products announcements expected later in the year.