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The University of Southampton

Research partners

We collaborate with our research partners on projects that directly benefit industry, the economy and society. Collaboration helps us to push the boundaries of research even further.

Benefits of research partnerships

Equipment sharing allows us to maximise the use of our specialist facilities. Our wind tunnels, for instance, are useful for many different kinds of businesses in their research and development of new products.

Data sharing gives us access to a much wider range of information than anything that one organisation could collect on its own. Our research centre looking into population change, which shares data with the Office for National Statistics and the General Registrar Office in Scotland, would not be able to create statistically significant results without collaborative research partners.

Knowledge and expertise sharing allows us to share crucial information between businesses, and other research institutions - advancing our research much more quickly. Our planned Cancer Immunology Centre hopes to capitalise on having a wide range of experts working together to bring about new breakthroughs.

The SETSquared partnership supports student enterprises among other projects
SETsquared enterprise
We have strong connections with NHS practitioners and management, which keeps our research relevant
Working with the NHS

Partnerships with charities and government bodies

We have close relationships with several UK charities which fund research into cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and heart disease. These charities fund PhD research in their areas of interest, share information and keep our researchers connected with others working on similar issues. We also house the charity Gift of Sight which we support closely from our optometry department.

It is also vital for the success of a great deal of our research to maintain close links with policy makers and government bodies. We work hard to ensure that the key messages from our research projects are communicated so that the country can benefit. The Office of National Statistics, and the NHS also provide us with the latest data for a wide variety of our projects.

Partnerships with other universities

We have formal and informal research partnerships with countless universities from all around the world, from the University of Bern to the University of Massachusetts.

We work with Bath, Bristol, Exeter and Surrey universities in our SETsquared partnership. Together we support tech-start-ups, encourage student enterprise and help researchers make their work commercially viable. We are one of the founding members of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) which creates opportunities for international collaboration in research and graduate education. We also collaborate with the other research universities working on projects sponsored by Boeing where we focus on sharing knowledge and resources to support our aeronautical and engineering work. We work closely with all of our Russell Group partners, as well as supporting the less formal partnerships that many of our researchers have with colleagues from other universities.

SPRINT partnership

The Unviersity of Southampton is a member of the SPRINT partnership (Space Research and Innovation Network for Technology), a unique partnership of top UK space universities, industry, government agencies and the investment community dedicated to supporting the growth of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK through the commercial exploitation of space data and technologies.

SPRINT funds research to benefit SMEs with a network that is rapidly expanding. Through this network, academics have the chance to collaboratively work with companies to bring those ideas to market through fully-funded, high-impact projects.

Southampton is one of five SPRINT Universities, all with significant space expertise.

Working with SPRINT can help research groups meet and exceed their targets for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF). They are also 100% FEC-funded.

Contact Southampton’s SPRINT Innovation Advisor Frances Clarke at or visit the SPRINT partnership website to find out more.

Partnerships with business

At Southampton, we pride ourselves on our close understanding of business and industry. This helps us to make sure our teaching and research is relevant to the needs of modern businesses. We have many partnerships with businesses both local and global which take many forms from Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, to secondments, and consultancy.

We have had a partnership with IBM, for instance, for more than 25 years. Our researchers work with IBM on developing new technologies and models in mathematics and electronics, among many others. In return, IBM has helped our researchers to use super computers to further their work, and given advice on how to improve university IT infrastructure.

University Technology Centres

We host five University Technology Centres in collaboration with leading organisations – Microsoft, Airbus, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Lloyd’s Register and Rolls-Royce. These centres enable intensive research and development and technology innovation between the university and industry.

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