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Collaborative Research 

What is collaborative research?

This is joint research involving two or more external partners who will work together collaboratively to achieve the project goals. Each party will introduce background IP and foreground IP will be generated. Engaging in collaborative research can help you develop your idea further and the partners you work with may be interested in exploiting the resultant IP via a license.

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Typically, the funding types below will support the type of collaborative research likely to generate exploitable IP:

This is a non-exhaustive list - there are many other funding sources who will fund your research to develop impactful IP - visit our External Funding page for further guidance. You are encouraged to also create an account on Research Professional (an online database of research funding opportunities and a source of international research policy and practice news).

**There are implications with IP when collaborating with a partner**

If applying for collaborative funding of any kind with another party, it is best to check who will own any resulting IP and have the rights to own/ exploit it commercially - this should be agreed upfront and written into the initial contract to avoid lengthy discussions later. This allows the researcher to clearly define which IP will belong to them and the University and which will belong to the company on completion e.g. each party will be entitled to their own background IP (the knowledge or technology they bring to the project) and parties will usually share any foreground IP (that resulting from the project itself) either in equal split or based on contribution to the project. 

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You must follow normal University procedures if you want to purse collaborative research. Please refer to the External Funding pages.

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For additional information related to IP in collaborative research please visit the Collaborative Research Guide of the UK Intellectual Property Office​. This tool will help identify how intellectual property (IP) fits into your research and the commercialisation process thereof.


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