What we do
We have many modes of partnership that we can undertake, with a wide range and flexibility:
- flagship industry funded centres
- fundamental research
- spin out companies
- pre-competitive knowledge
- academic chairs and professorships
- tech foresight
- tech insights
- Imperial Business Partners
- sector enabling knowledge
- capital projects
Examples of our collaborations
Shell-Imperial Advanced Interfacial Materials Science (AIMS) Centre
A Multidisciplinary Approach To Tackle Corrosion
The Shell-Imperial Advanced Interfacial Materials Science (AIMS) Centre was launched in March 2016 with the aim of delivering new insights into materials behaviour and enabling optimal materials selection, design and enhanced predicative capabilities.
The Centre, based in the Department of Materials, focuses on the development of innovative solutions using state-of-the-art and in operando characterisation approaches to materials challenges in the engineering and energy industry.
The Centre focuses on five technical themes exploring research that links nanoscale processes to large-scale materials behaviour.
The interdisciplinary research team, which includes six PhD students and three Post-Docs, has been exploiting developments in new ambient pressure systems for spectroscopy and microscopy, as well as central synchrotron facilities to develop new in-situ approaches to study complex systems over length and timescales relevant to industrial processes. The long-term goal of the Centre is to make industrial processes safer, more predictable and more efficient, ultimately resulting in better asset management and operational performance.
Jaguar Land Rover
Renewed commitment to engine research
Jaguar Land Rover has resumed the Centre of Excellence for Spark-Ignition Engine Combustion Research at Imperial for a period of five years.
The Centre was originally established at University College London in 2013, led by Professor Pavlos Aleiferis. In 2016, however, Professor Aleiferis was appointed as Chair in Thermofluids in Imperial’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, prompting its movement.
Professor Aleiferis' research expertise in the fundamentals of fuel systems and internal combustion engines for low-carbon vehicles has been historically utilised by a number of automotive companies including Honda, where he originally completed postdoctoral research into optical techniques applied to internal combustion engines.
The JLR Research Centre will continue to form an integral component of the company’s commitment to producing fuel-efficient powertrain technologies and the findings will help considerably to deliver the company’s ambitious goal of a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 to comply with both governmental policy and broader consumer demand.
The Imperial team will focus on Thermodynamic Single Cylinder and Optical Single Cylinder Engines with student research projects in Experimental Combustion and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Research and Development running in parallel up until 2021.
Big data challenges in finance and law
The Data Science Institute, Imperial College London and Thomson Reuters are working together to bring data science expertise from both corporate and academic worlds to bear on global big data challenges impacting financial and legal professionals. The initiative aims to drive faster innovation in FinTech and RegTech industries through collaborative research projects.
The projects bring together academics from across Imperial to do cutting edge research informed by real industry problems. The collaboration will utilise the KPMG Data Observatory to visualise data, enabling novel exploration of data and unearthing fresh insights.
This partnership will create a global ecosystem whereby academics, financial markets institutions, and technology firms can collaborate to tackle FinTech issues such as supply chain risk, financial risk management, real-time data analysis and RegTech issues such as the impact of regulation.
Improving sports tracking software
Imperial has been working with the rapidly expanding US software company Hudl to improve its sports tracking technology.
The software, which is used by thousands of professional and amateur sports teams globally, uses video recording to track the movement of players at games or training sessions, enabling coaches to document vital statistics. Coaches can then interactively annotate the footage and forward it to players to use to perfect their performance or create a showcase of their skills.
To help improve the accuracy of these products researchers in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering have been working with the company to develop new algorithms and computer software, and overcome technical challenges such as gaps between observations, dynamic appearance changes of players (e.g. due to different viewpoints and light conditions) and limited resolution of images.
The project was completed by the Computer Vision and Learning Lab, led by researcher Dr. Rigas Kouskouridas and the laboratory's head, Dr. Tae-Kyun Kim.
Developing next generation robots
Since 2014 The Dyson Robotics Lab at Imperial College has developed computer vision programmes that enable robots to move beyond traditionally controlled environments and successfully navigate the real world.
Developing robots that can process visual information in real-time could lead to a new range of handy and helpful robots for around the home and in industry.
The collaboration, which fits with Dyson's plans to develop new robotic technology, comes at a time when other major technology companies such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft are buying up artificial intelligence and robotics companies in an effort to move toward the next generation of intelligent computing for the home and work.
Together with Dyson, Imperial continues to push the state-of-the-art forward.
Tomorrow's technology for today's students
In 2012, following investment from ABB and a long term maintenance commitment, the Department of Chemical Engineering opened a £2million carbon capture pilot plant, believed to be one of the most sophisticated facilities of its kind in the world.
The pilot plant gives undergraduates the chance to learn key operational skills. As a result, students graduate from Imperial with an unrivalled expertise, making them more employable in an increasingly competitive sector.
For ABB, this is an investment which ensures that the company will have ready access to a stream of suitably qualified engineers, who are well aware of the benefits of a career in control and instrumentation engineering when they graduate.
In addition, ABB has access to the plant and control room for its own use and uses the facility for customer demonstrations and training, staff learning, and hands on experience for its apprentices and graduate engineers, as well as for product testing.
Shell and Qatar petroleum
A collaborative approach
The Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC) was set up to investigate some of the most important challenges in the exploitation of carbonate reservoirs; cleaner methods for the production and use of oil and gas, as well as more efficient recovery, for example.
Research in these areas is crucial to the reduction of the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and to the mitigation of climate change.
As part of the QCCSRC programme, academics are exploring how to store carbon dioxide deep underground in layers of permeable rock.
To do this, multi-scale x-ray CT technology - more commonly used in hospitals to visualise internal structures of the body - is being used to look at carbonate rock formations on the microscopic scale, in order to better understand the way carbon dioxide interacts with, and flows within, these materials.
Some of our corporate funders