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What we do

How we work

We have Business Engagement Managers based in each Faculty who are responsible for managing strategy and high-value relationships and can help to identify and coordinate the relevant academics, Schools and disciplines required for a specific project.

They can help with the negotiation process, bring in expertise from legal and finance, and once a project is agreed they will work with you to co-ordinate activities and communications, resolve problems and keep both parties informed of any new developments.

On smaller scale projects, the team can help by offering advice and support, and can providing an initial starting point to help find the right people and partners to collaborate with. 

What we do

BEST helps academics to engage with current and potential partners in four key activity areas:

  • Research and Development
  • Knowledge Exchange
  • Professional Development and Training
  • Recruitment and Employment

Research and Development


Options include:

  • Commissioned research – where you are contracted to undertake a specific piece of research on behalf of an organisation.
  • Collaborative research – where you work together with an organisation towards a common goal with results that benefit both parties. There may be increased funding opportunities through the organisation’s R&D budget or joint applications for government or Research Council grants.
  • Sponsored research projects – where you offer your students the opportunity to work on real-life problems and gain hands-on industrial experience and skills training which can potentially increase their employability.


The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP) offers guidance and support to academics who are looking to commercialise the results of their research. Commericialising your Intellectual Property can bring increased financial and reputational rewards, as well as helping to maintain and promote economic growth.

Visit UMIP for more details and case studies.


Options include:

  • Sharing your knowledge and expertise in a specific area
  • Providing technical advice
  • Offering expert witness services in a legal case
  • Providing due diligence to an organisation in the course of a significant investment decision or new partnership.

You can find further information and guidance in the University’s Policy on Outside Work and Consultancy.

Knowledge Exchange (KE)

The KE team works to match your research expertise to business problems.

By harnessing some of the knowledge, technology and skills available within the University, organisations can improve their competitiveness and productivity while supporting innovation and growth.

See examples of successful KE projects.

Staff Development and Training

Continued Professional Development and Executive Education programmes are becoming increasing popular across the business sector as SMEs and large corporations look at outsourcing their staff development. Programmes are flexible and range from one day workshops to Master level programmes.

Options include:

  • Bespoke programmes commissioned for specific clients
  • Targeted programmes developed for particular sectors or research fields
  • Closed programmes (just for one specific group of learners) or open programmes for individuals from a range of organisations
  • Programmes designed to attract professionals wanting to update their skills or further their knowledge

Recruitment and Employment

The Careers Service work in partnership with local and international organisations and businesses, and has a dedicated team to provide support for recruiters looking to advertise placements, internship opportunities, graduate schemes, or part-time employment vacancies to University of Manchester graduates. From an internal perspective, the Careers Service can help provide advice and guidance to your students on employability and careers issues, they offer events for research staff and can help advertise part-time jobs and internships to students and graduates. Further information can be found on the careers website.