Academic Licensing

How to Apply for a Donation

Please Read Carefully

Academic licenses for Manifold® products are donations at no charge and cannot be purchased. These licenses are available only by application directly to Manifold.

Important: Information on this page is reference information for existing Release 8 academic licensees and for guidance to students and staff of academic institutions who may want to know if their institution has been granted an academic license (see the FAQ below). As part of the transition to Release 9, all new Academic donations are for Release 9 and not Release 8. Release 9 grants use a different procedure than Release 8 donations used. See information on Release 9 Academic license grants discussed below.

Donations: To date Manifold has made over $100 million in software grants to universities around the world: many institutions are using our software, provided at no charge, to administer and manage their facilities, to improve the quality of their teaching, to provide new opportunities to students, to support research in many disciplines and even to more effectively raise funds from alumni and other donors. Manifold has provided GIS software at no charge to universities, colleges and K-12 school districts.

Academic Users: Manifold System Release 8 has been available under a very generous program of Academic License grants which donates, free of charge, Manifold System licenses to qualified academic institutions. The program is best suited for academic institutions that have acquired at least one commercial license of Manifold System.

Release 9 Academic Licenses

New! A generous number of Manifold System Release 9 licenses may be donated at no charge to academic institutions which sponsor the creation of localization files for their national language or for a new language. This is a limited, experimental program. Please contact to participate.

Fast Track Approval

Fast track approval (Release 8): The fastest way to obtain an Academic license grant for Release 8 is to use the following procedure to qualify for Fast Track review and approval:

  • Acquire one or more commercial licenses of Manifold System Release 8 at the regular price. For example, acquire one copy of Manifold 8.00 Ultimate x64.
  • Download a copy of the Academic License agreement and edit it in your word processor.
  • Fill out the signature page with information for the tech and admin contacts. DO NOT MAKE ANY OTHER CHANGES. Please use English only.
  • A person authorized to sign contracts for your institution must then email the completed license back to Manifold along with a text message stating "On behalf of my institution I agree to the terms and conditions of the Academic License agreement. Please accept this statement as my signature on the contract. I have not changed any text from the version on your web site."
  • If your application is approved, the license will be granted and sent to the email address specified in the agreement's admin contact.
  • The Academic License will grant Ultimate Edition x64 licenses. Manifold wants Academic licensees to have the entire product with all options!
  • The Fast Track program grants licenses to two-year and four-year degree granting academic institutions in the United States, Europe, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and other countries observing the Treaty of Paris on the protection of intellectual property. It also grants licenses to K-12 school districts in the United States and to the equivalents of K-12 school districts in other countries.
  • Institutions receiving donations may use the donated software offsite, such as in fieldwork; however, please note that the software donated can only be used in juridictions where use of such software is permitted both by local laws and by the terms and conditions of the Manifold End User License Agreement. For example, an academic institution in England may receive an Academic license donation but that does not permit researchers from that institution to utilize the Manifold software so donated in countries where the use of such software is illegal.

There is no need for special qualification by Manifold - as a qualified Academic Institution your license becomes operational when the license grant email is sent to you. It's that easy!

Your Obligations

License processing requires four to eight weeks from the time Manifold receives your completed email before a grant is approved. Academic License holders take on the following obligations:

  • Academic License holders are responsible for communicating the availability of Manifold to users throughout their institutions. One objective of the Academic License program is to recruit License holders to actively communicate news of Manifold System throughout their institutions. If you acquire an Academic License and other departments or users within your institution contact Manifold to license Manifold System without realizing that an Academic License is already held by your institution, those sales will go through and are not refundable.
  • Academic License holders are responsible for technical support within their institutions. Referral of students or other users to Manifold for technical support will result in termination of the Academic License.

Additional Fast Track Information

Please check the following to avoid delays in the Fast Track processing of your Academic License grant application, a rejection of the application or cancellation of your Manifold license:

  • Before submitting the Academic License paperwork, your institution should have licensed at least one copy of Manifold System (any non-runtime edition of the current Release) directly from Manifold. If your Academic License email is received and our grant department cannot find a record for a previously-acquired qualifying license, the application will be rejected for consideration under the Fast Track program. Do not email your license paperwork with a purchase order, wire transfer or request to make a credit card procurement at the same time thinking the two will be processed simultaneously, because until an order is processed and the original, qualifying license is issued you do not have a qualifying license and the Academic license request will be rejected for lack of such qualifying license. Note that in any event Manifold does not accept purchase orders for procurements.
  • The Academic License is not valid until Academic serial numbers have been issued to your institution after Manifold has received, processed and approved your academic license application. Some academic users think all they need do is procure one commercial license and then as soon as they send the Academic License email they can make and use as many copies as they like. That is not true. The qualifying unit licensed initially is a regular commercial license and cannot be shared. If you install it on multiple machines Manifold will sooner or later detect a license violation and will automatically shut down your license as well as all subsequent licenses granted. After an Academic license is granted Manifold will send a block of special Academic serial numbers for your use. These serial numbers have the special property that the same serial number may be used on multiple machines in the same local network and will not cause a license violation reaction.
  • Academic licenses are a donation, not an entitlement, made at the sole and exclusive determination of Manifold. An Academic license application may not be approved if Manifold chooses not to donate to your institution.
  • Academic licenses are donated to the institution, not to an individual person or group within the institution. If such a license has already been donated, applications from other groups in the institution unaware the instution has already received a donation will not be processed. If an academic license has already been donated and applications from other groups within the institution indicate the institution is not honoring its commitment to advertise the availability of Manifold within the institution, the donation may be rescinded for cause.
  • Under no circumstances will an Academic license donation be made if such donation will subject Manifold to any additional government or administrative regulation of any kind or taxation or fees of any kind. Exposure to any such regulation, taxation or fees of any kind that arises after a donation automatically makes that donation null and void.
  • Academic donations are not available for state institutions in jurisdictions with adverse or discriminatory restrictions on state GIS product procurement or usage. For example, in the US, that excludes state institutions in Alabama, Delaware, Maine, Montana, Oregon and North Carolina and possibly others. If your state discriminates against open choice or use of GIS product by state agencies or any group or individual funded, regulated or influenced by the state, no donation will be made to any institution affiliated with the state. Private institutions can still qualify, provided they do not as a matter of published policy discriminate in GIS procurement or usage.
  • The Fast Track process is not available to any institution that previously had any Manifold license revoked by Manifold such as revocation of a prior Academic License donation.
  • Academic license donations are a matter exclusively between Manifold and the academic institution. No third party can have any role such as brokering or facilitating or in any way being an intermediary in either the qualifying commercial license or in the application for or granting of a donation. No third party can in any way represent Manifold in connection with any aspect of an Academic donation.
  • Manifold reserves the right to decline to donate an Academic license to any particular institution. Any licensing of Manifold software does not guarantee that subsequently an Academic license will be granted upon application, and any order accompanied by commentary that implies an expectation of such a guarantee will be null and void.

A note to Academic License holders for prior releases: Your Academic License for releases of Manifold earlier than the current release does not include the current release of Manifold System. To get the current release you must apply to have your Academic License extended to the current release. This does not happen automatically, to avoid wasting resources on providing upgrades to the current release for inactive academic licensees.


Can I find out from Manifold if our institution already has an Academic License?

No. As noted above, Academic License holders are responsible for communicating the availability of Manifold to users throughout their institutions. One objective of the Academic License program is to recruit License holders to actively communicate news of Manifold System throughout their institutions. If you cannot find out rapidly and conveniently within your own institution whether or not there has been an Academic License donation made to your institution, assume that your institution does not have an Academic License.

The prior administrator of our donation has left our employ and I'm trying to clean up the chaos. I have no info on the donation, but I know one was made. What should I do?

Start over with a fresh application for a donation. Acquire a Manifold license and apply through the Fast Track process.

Our institution has an Academic License for Release 7x or prior Manifold Release. How do we apply to have it upgraded to an Academic License for the current Manifold System Release?

1) Acquire a non-runtime license of the current release. 2) A person listed as either the administrative contact or the technical contact in your license should email with a request to have your license upgraded to the current Manifold System Release. Very important: The donations program is aimed at institutions which are likely to benefit from a Manifold donation. If your institution has not utilized a prior academic license donation it will be required to provide supporting information on your plans for use of any new donation.

What are the licenses granted?

A typical donation will provide a mix of standalone Manifold 8.00 Ultimate x64 licenses as well as a Manifold 8.00 License Server license loaded with a large number of Manifold 8.00 Ultimate x64 floating licenses. Universities are expected to utilize the License Server for the majority of their usage. Institutions shoudl therefore have someone on staff who can administer a License Server installation for mass usage.

I don't understand any of this. Can Manifold explain to me what GIS is and how the details of Manifold work?

No. The donations program is aimed at institutions which are likely to benefit from a Manifold donation. To use limited resources to make as many donations as possible the donations program must focus all resources on those institutions which are already familiar with GIS and which have the capability to hit the ground running with Manifold. You must have at least some familiarity with GIS in general and, ideally, Manifold specifically. That capability can initially be as modest as just one person within the institution who is familiar with GIS and able to champion and support broader usage of GIS in general and Manifold specifically within your institution.

I understand GIS but don't understand this process or legal stuff. My professor has assigned me to this anyway - Can Manifold explain this to me?

No. It sounds like you would be a good technical contact for the agreement but that you should get someone else to help out as the administrative contact for the agreement. In addition to the requirement for GIS awareness as indicated in the above paragraph, Manifold also requires organizations to honor the terms and conditions of the donation: that requires assignment of someone with appropriate administrative skills and authority to manage the donation. That is normally done by teaming up a good administrator with whoever will be the tech contact. The first task for that admin person is to manage the application for a donation - easy for anyone with the right skills.

If an organization is unwilling to assign someone with sufficient ability to understand and apply the process of applying for a donation, Manifold feels it is highly unlikely they will assign someone with sufficient authority and ability to honor the terms and conditions of the donation. In fairness to the many deserving applications from institutions worldwide which value the prospect of a donation enough to assign someone up to the job, Manifold will not un-level the playing field by providing extra assistance to those organizations which do not make an equivalent effort.

Does it matter what edition of Manifold System I procure as my qualifying license?

No. Any license of a non-runtime edition of Manifold System 8.00 qualifies an institution for Manifold 8.00 Fast Track application, regardless of what edition or product bundle you choose. No matter what version you initially procure, you end up with an Manifold 8.00 Ultimate Edition Academic license when the Academic license is donated. The presence of a qualifying license allows a more rapid process for granting Academic licenses:

  • It indicates that the person applying for an Academic license has experience with the product. Exprience assures a successful deployment and a good match to the needs of the institution.
  • It indicates that the person applying has a bona fide position within the organization, as people with no official position usually cannot arrange the procurement of even a single license. Official representation allows a more efficient approval process.

Can our institution apply for an Academic License grant if no previous Manifold license has been acquired?

Yes, although such applications will not be considered under the Fast Track program. Only academic institutions that are degree-granting two year or four year colleges or universities may apply for an Academic License grant outside of the Fast Track program. Applications for grants that do not qualify for Fast Track consideration are subject to additional requirements. Applications outside of the Fast Track process must file all paperwork required by Fast Track and must also included the following additional materials:

  • A detailed description of your intended use of Manifold software for teaching, including the syllabus of courses that will use Manifold software, the number of students who will receive coursework involving Manifold software, the prior years in which such courses have been offered and the names of instructors teaching the courses. This description must evidence awareness of the specific features of Manifold that will be taught.
  • Names and professional resumes (including GIS experience) of any academic institution personnel who will be using Manifold or teaching coursework involving Manifold.
  • A description of what measures will be taken to ensure availability of Manifold under the Academic License is made known to other departments.
  • A description of the technical support plan your institution will adopt to ensure internal technical support for users.
  • A statement by an officer of the institution that the signatories of the Academic License Agreement on behalf of the instution do have the authority to bind the institution to agreements of that nature.
  • Note that the above additional requirements are not necessary for applications received under the Fast Track process. See the Fast track approval section above for information on Fast Track requirements.

Applications for Academic License grants not qualified for Fast Track processing will be reviewed on a "time permitting" basis only after all Fast Track applications have been reviewed. Due to the high volume of Fast Track applications, this may result in substantial delays in processing of applications not submitted under Fast Track qualification. If you choose to apply for an Academic License grant outside of the Fast Track process, please review your application email carefully to make sure you have provided all required materials. If your application is rejected for lack of required materials, you will have to restart the process with a full application re-submission at the end of the wait list for consideration.

Due to the high volume of applications in the Fast Track process, no status of pending applications is available for applications not qualified for Fast Track and no assistance can be provided for applicants outside of the Fast Track process.

My institution received a donation but now the serial numbers are revoked - What happened and what can I do?

Donations are revoked if an institution does not honor the Academic License agreement it submitted to obtain a donation. This can happen for a variety of reasons, ranging from a benign change of circumstances such as personnel changes or an institution no longer being involved with GIS to less benign circumstances involving incompetence or dishonesty.

When Manifold revokes a donation some users at the institution may be surprised because they don't know why the donation was revoked and the person originally in charge cannot be found. Donations are very valuable assets that must be administered by the named contact, so if that named contact has gone missing that in itself is a serious problem: an indication that if nothing else the contract has not been honored as agreed. Beyond that, due to iron-clad privacy assurances Manifold will not discuss the revocation with anyone but the contact specified in the donation agreement, so it could be difficult for a third party to know what caused the revocation.

The sole recourse for any institution that has had a prior donation revoked is to re-apply for an Academic License donation. This will require more effort than may have been made originally since once a donation is revoked Manifold must look at any subsequent requests from the institution with greater care, and may require additional information like that in the non-Fast Track process.

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