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Our research & impact activity often takes the form of consultancy or contract research.

We also work closely with businesses to help develop their business or R&D strategies through funded programmes.

Since 2014 to 2020, working with Ulster University’s, Innovation Ulster Ltd our staff have delivered 36 consultancy projects across the Creative Industries, through Invest NI/ Enterprise Ireland Innovation vouchers and nine general consultancy contracts with industry (>£210K). e.g. award winning Izak9 Mathematics learning system.

We have secured five Enterprise Ireland FUSION programmes (>£100K) and six Innovate UK/ Invest NI funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

Most recently we have secured a ConnectED award working with 9 companies and a Further Education partner, SWC (£40K). Two of our KTPS have been assessed by Innovate UK as ‘Outstanding’.

This contributes to Ulster University’s rank within the top 5% of providers in the UK and specifically the national leader for quality with 38% graded outstanding compared to the national average of 24% (Innovate UK, 2020).


One of our KTPs, with CDE Global Ltd., reached the finalist shortlisting for the THELMA 2018, Knowledge Exchange initiative of the year (Magee & Quigley) and a national case study for the National Centre for Universities and Business (2018).

Spin Out Companies

Two of the University’s 13 spin out companies are from Art & Design staff. These include Tactility Factory and HUMAIN.

Tactility Factory commercialises IP from REF2014 is an all-female joint venture between Art & Design SRF (Belford) and Queens’ University (first Female Professor in Architecture in Ireland).

HUMAIN (Maguire), established in 2017, combines cutting edge creative industries research with the seminal research of Paul Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System (FACS). They develop advanced and 3D Character Facial Rigging Services for film, episodic television and video games, which are set to transform the industry workflow pipeline. Dr Erika Rosenberg (Stanford University) the protégé of Paul Ekman, is HUMAIN’s Chief Scientific Officer.