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Knowledge exchange

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The Open University works with local industry in Northern Ireland to create links between academic knowledge and research with local business to support innovation, productivity and competitiveness.

The OU’s research community conducts world-class research and innovation which has impact in the real world and deep into space.

We have extensive expertise in research and external engagement and a proven track record of benefiting organisations large and small. There are many ways in which you can access our knowledge base and work collaboratively with us to help fulfil your organisation’s potential.  The OU's Enterprise Team has a dedicated role to develop Knowledge Exchange opportunities and to work with partners.

Key areas of expertise which The Open University works in include;

  • Citizenship and Governance
  • International Development
  • Space Exploration
  • Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Health and Wellbeing

At The Open University we want to make our academic expertise accessible to organisations across Northern Ireland in both the public and private sector.

We have significant experience of developing partnerships based around collaboration and contract research as well as knowledge-based partnerships.  We are available to help you identify the partnership that would benefit your organisation most.


Connected Knowledge exchange logo

The Open University is a member of the Connected partnership a bespoke Northern Ireland programme to facilitate better engagement among industry, further education and higher education.

Connected is an initiative funded by the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland and delivered by Queen’s University, Ulster University and the six Further Education colleges. The programme has been running since April 2014. In 2018 The Open University joined the programme.  Connected is designed to help businesses improve their performance by providing “one-stop-shop” access to a broad portfolio of knowledge and technology support services, taking them right through the whole process from problem definition to solution identification and implementation.

Connected will support the development of innovative projects between education providers and employers. If you would like to partner with The Open University on an eligible project, please contact Imelda Haran  Through the Connected project, The Open University are committed to encouraging innovation and meeting the needs of business.




Matrix logo

The Open University were welcomed to the Matrix panel in January 2020..

MATRIX, the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel, is a business led expert panel, formed primarily to advise government, industry and academia on the commercial exploitation of R&D and science and technology in Northern Ireland.  Matrix produce regular, in depth reports which outline the work, findings and recommendations of our specialist panels. These reports are an invaluable resource for anyone interested in how new technologies and market opportunities can be developed within the Northern Ireland economy and beyond.