Horizon Partners

 Collaboration Opportunities

There are several ways in which partners may collaborate with Horizon, enabling different levels of engagement that may change over time as activities are initiated, executed and wound down. In addition to the initial partners noted within the Research Councils UK funding Horizon encourages requests from new partners aligned with Horizon’s objectives.  Horizon currently has a portfolio of over 200 partners across a broad range of sectors.

External Funding

Applying for external funding is the way many of our partners collaborate with us – our researchers/partners respond to an external funding call relevant to their area of research/work.  It is strongly encouraged in these types of application that the University collaborate with Industry partners; this links the work of Industry with that of the University and vice versa.  Often there can be a tremendous amount of overlap which will allows for mutually beneficial research to occur.  Often our industry partners have access to actual data but may not necessarily have the expertise or time to conduct the research that would be of great interest to both the company and Horizon. 

This work often involves “in-kind contribution”, money does not change hands.  Partners offer us their time and expertise, potential access to their facilities, data, networks etc.  As part of the funding process we include this in-kind contribution in the application to give the funders a better idea of the real value of the research. Other funding streams allow the industry partners to be funded  as part of a consortium (e.g. Innovate UK, EU).

Examples of external funding bodies are:

  • Research Councils – such as the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • Innovate UK – projects are usually led by industry
  • European Funding (EU) – for example, the Horizon 2020 Programme
  • Other (e.g. E-ON, Google, Catapult Centres)

PhD Studentships

As a partner you can sponsor a PhD studentship.  These generally are four years in duration and involve the student spending periods of time with the partner developing their research.  Please read the section on Partnering with the CDT and contact the Horizon team if you have any questions.


A typical consultancy project is short-term, has a formal agreement and the contracted outputs are usually owned by the industry partner. It may take the form of providing technical or creative expertise and solutions to industrial problems.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Partners can collaborate more generally with the University and Horizon through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).


For further details, please contact us at horizon@nottingham.ac.uk

Take a look at our Case Studies section which highlights some of our work with partners.