Working on publishing ML papers

I work in an applied computer vision team and our work is very product focused. While I do enjoy my job and like my team, I’d like to work on publishing papers to gain that rigorous research experience and build out my profile. I have mentioned this to my manager a few times, but have not received any opportunity because publishing is just not important to the team and the business. How can I seek this externally? Should I email professors / academic CV labs / paper authors and ask if they want to collaborate? Are there other ways I can find publishing opportunities?