From transforming manufacturing processes to developing novel formulations, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are driving innovation. Creating dynamic collaborations with UK universities, KTPs are led by talented graduates or post grads (known as KTP Associates) who apply and embed academic knowledge to solve innovation challenges. A celebration of the positive impacts of these exceptional partnerships comes in the form of the KTP Best of the Best Awards 2020. Here we look at some of the projects on the finalists’ list relating to Manufacturing and Materials.

Cracker Maker gets a Manufacturing makeover

The KTP between iconic cracker manufacturer, Rakusen’s, and University of Bradford has delivered a state of the art, data-driven, intelligent process control system by using Industry 4.0 technologies including Big Data Science, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Cyber Physical Systems and Internet of Things. This new, smart manufacturing approach has transformed production processes to produce good quality products based on real-time, data-driven decision-making models. The partnership is a finalist in the Engineering Excellence category of the KTP Best of the Best Awards. More on the project here.

The humble standpipe turns state of the art

Standard standpipe design has remained largely unchanged for decades, offering limited functionality. Via its KTP with Manchester Metropolitan University, Aquacheck Engineering has created a new Internet of Things (IoT) device – a Smart Standpipe – able to provide real time access to parameters such as water usage, location, flow, pressure and much more. This project is a finalist in the Best KTP category and the Engineering Excellence category of the KTP Best of the Best Awards. More on the project here. 

New class of ionic liquid developed

Kilwaughter Minerals, an established quarry and mineral processor manufacturing innovative limestone products, wanted to develop a new ionic liquid – more environmentally friendly, with superior water repellent quality – for incorporation into a coating for masonry and exterior paint. 

KTP Associate Mark Gilmore, via this KTP with Queen’s University Belfast, has discovered and developed not just one liquid, but a new class of ionic liquids which not only can be used as a masonry coating, but also has the potential to be transferred into other industries e.g. healthcare, marine coatings and industrial pipework.

Mark Gilmore is a finalist in the Future Innovator category of the KTP Best of the Best Awards. More here. 

New fix for mouldable glue: novel silicone composite formulation with broad applications

Mouldable glue specialist, Sugru, wanted to improve the cure chemistry of its silicone composite to extend the market for Sugru (toys, food packaging, silicone coatings). Via this KTP with Queen Mary University London KTP Associate Khai Nguyen has identified

the potential of thiol-ene chemical coupling for the design of safe and biocompatible silicone materials and composites; also inventing a novel formulation that has broad applications – from industrial adhesives for complex applications, to 3D printing of biomedical chips that can help in the search for improved diagnostics and therapeutics.

Khai Nguyen is a finalist in the Future Innovator category of the KTP Best of the Best Awards. More here. 

Materials science innovation for anilox technology

Leading manufacturer of anilox rolls and cylinders for the flexographic, lithographic and metal decoration print industries, Sandon Global Engraving Technology Ltd is participating in a KTP with University of Manchester which has resulted in changes to both manufacturing methodologies and powder composition. The results have led to a substantial increase in products passing through quality assurance and a reduction in non-compliance rejects due to coating failures. 

KTP Associate on this project, Dmitry Bogachev is a Finalist in the Future Innovator category of the KTP Best of the Best Awards. More here 

A world-first hybrid/electric off road green military machine opens up opportunities to help meet vehicle emissions targets and enhance off-road capabilities

Thanks to a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between specialist engineering company, SC Group-Global Ltd, University of Exeter and KTP Associate Matt Harvey, environmentally sustainable, off-road electric propulsion technology is now in the fast lane. This means Supacat can bring more efficient hybrid and electric drive technologies to their military operations vehicles, which will also benefit the emergency services and utilities sectors, particularly in challenging off-road environments.  For the rest of the world, this innovation is opening up new opportunities for electrification and hybridisation design and manufacturing in other sectors such as marine, emergency response, disaster relief and hazardous environments. This project is a finalist in the Best KTP Project category of the KTP Best of the Best Awards


Could a collaboration with a university help your organisation achieve positive change? Find out more about KTP and Management KTP here. Funding competitions are open throughout the year. 

Want to discover the winners of the KTP Best of the Best Awards? Immerse yourself in our virtual Awards Ceremony on 9 September from 4-5pm. Register here.

A version of this article also appears on the KTN website. 

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