The knowledge connection for business

About Connected

Connected is here to encourage, ease and increase potential knowledge exchange links between academia and industry, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The aim of Connected is to develop interaction and stimulate innovation to benefit Northern Ireland companies and Northern Ireland’s economy.


Funded by the Department for the Economy, Connected was the first Knowledge Exchange programme in the UK to be delivered across both Higher and Further Education. We give companies of all sizes access to the full range of services available from local universities and colleges including research, product development, knowledge exchange, innovation and training.

The goal of Connected is to foster closer partnerships between our region’s businesses, both large and small, and the university/college departments who are keen to work with you. The further and higher education sectors in Northern Ireland are ready and willing to offer their vast pool of expertise, knowledge, research capability and world-class facilities to businesses and the community at large. Working in collaboration with universities/colleges can bring real and measurable benefits to your bottom line. 

For many businesses and organisations who wish to collaborate with a university/college, the challenge can often be to understand what is available and identify the relevant expertise. Through Connected, businesses and organisations can access information and funding, which can bring about major business benefits.

Through the Connected project, and in collaboration with the FE sector, Queen's University, Ulster University and Open University are committed to encouraging innovation and meeting the needs of business. Connected represents a huge store of skills, expertise and resources. The best way to understand the benefit that Knowledge Transfer can deliver to your business is to have a browse through some of our case studies.

If you would like to receive our newsletters, with updates on our forthcoming events, collaborations between academia and industry, funding news, case studies and more you can subscribe to our newsletter here (we will never share your details with third parties) and check out past issues here.