SAULs core translational research activity is conducted through the SAUL Intelligence Unit (IU). Established in 2009, the IU strives to engage in strong collaboration and knowledge exchange with strategic partners; contribute to social and economic development through the rapid translation of research; create a clear alignment between research and teaching; deepen the relationship between the university and the community; enhance relationships with strategic partners; and inform public debate and influence policy-makers in the public and private sectors at local, regional, national and international levels. While the IU operates during the summer months, some of its projects continue year-round. It employs approximately 10 SAUL graduates and students as researchers every summer, who work under the direction of SAUL faculty.
The IU has worked on nine research projects to date. The projects are part-funded by local authorities, government departments, specific agencies and private entities, and some have developed into large-scale, externally funded projects.