Industry study groups

Through Industry Study Groups (ISGs) your company can gain access to the expertise that we have in the School of Computer Science. ISG events attract world-leading computer science academics, Post Doctoral Researchers and PhD students. All of whom will work with your company representatives on the day to provide new insights into your business-led problems.

Through the ISG your business may be able to get potential solutions to a problem, a better view of future areas of investigation or the collaborations required to find a solution.

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What is an Industry Study Group?

ISGs are a day-long event hosted at The University of Manchester for your company to present industrial technical research questions or areas of interest to a group of computer scientists.

Company representatives typically present problems with a view to future projects or collaborative work. The problems should be non-time critical to your business and it is unusual to have confidentiality issues (NDAs and intellectual property can be discussed if necessary).

Is an ISG right for your company and what preparation is required?

To help to scope and identify relevant problems we rely on good contact between our industry liaison staff and your company prior to the event. In the build-up to the ISG day we will identify academic staff and researchers whose research interests align with the areas proposed.

On the day…

There will be an opportunity at the beginning of the day to provide a brief company overview and activities to familiarise the group with your business and to give context to the problems.

Company representatives will informally present problems, allowing for questions. Normally 4-5 problems would be presented initially, followed by break-out sessions where each problem is considered in more detail by a group.

In the afternoon each group feeds back, providing the opportunity for more comments and suggestions from the wider audience. Before the close of the ISG, it is important that the next steps are considered and agreed. This could include follow-up collaborative work such as:

  • Collaborative research e.g. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)
  • Company funded research projects
  • CDT study group projects (week-long full time group projects)
  • MSc/BSc projects

Networking opportunities will be available through lunch and break sessions. The School’s Employability Tutor is available to discuss other recruitment opportunities such as talks to students, industrial internships and placements.

Sabisu case study

Sabisu provides computer support tools to manufacturing and chemical engineering companies, including data visualisation and social networking tools. In 2013 the company took part in an ISG hosted in the School of Mathematics, which also involved computer scientists. Four problems were outlined in the morning and by end of day, the group was able to provide:

  • a prototype efficient algorithm for one of the problems
  • specific suggestions on how to move forward on two others
  • identification that the other problem required longer-term investigations. In this case, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) bid was subsequently funded to pay for a researcher to work in the company (with academic support) to address these problems.

Contact us

Industrial Liaison staff are available in the School to talk through any queries that you may have and to advise on whether an ISG is right for your company:

Collaborate with our University

At The University of Manchester we know the value of working together. We break down barriers and get involved; we collaborate across disciplines, cultures and countries to solve global problems; and we transform people’s lives by making positive change across the world.

Find out more about collaborating with the University of Manchester

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