After a fascinating Innovate UK KTP Awards 2021 (catch up here), we’re excited to announce our Future Leader Award winners. Each award presented are for the KTP Associates who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, above and beyond expectations.

Read on to find out more about our KTP Future Leaders 2021. 


Carla Resendiz Villasenor

Norscot Joinery Ltd 

Teesside University

This KTP project, which is a partnership between Norscot Joinery and Teesside University,  aims to develop a timber frame house range that can adapt to people’s needs as their life situation changes. The result will be a future-proofed range of timber frame homes that can be modified as required by the homeowner to meet changing mobility, care and wellbeing needs. A human-centred design process is being used to bring customers and stakeholders into the design process. 

This approach introduced the Norscot team to a new process of open innovation, giving them a legacy capacity they will be able to use in future projects. The project has created synergy with national and international academic leaders in the field of modern methods of construction and building information modelling. The range of homes, eventually crafted through this KTP, will blend leading-edge lifestyle design ideas with appropriate use of technology to allow people to stay in their dream home for as long as possible.


James Madge

Preqin Limited

University of Essex

Prequin has pioneered rigorous methods of collecting private data for more than 17 years, with a focus on alternative assets management. Its analytics platform provides clients with cutting-edge workflow tools and insights to help guide how they raise capital, source deals and investments, understand performance, and stay informed.

James worked closely with the London-based company and the University of Essex to “turbocharge” the information available to its clients as well as identifying new areas for academic research.

The project created new methods of capturing insight from current and future Preqin datasets by embedding AI and Machine Learning techniques across the unique Preqin investor platform.


Jonny Reader

Hydrogarden Limited

University of Nottingham

Hydrogarden is a market leader in design, manufacture and supply of specialist hydroponic equipment. Jonny’s role was to embed new knowledge in this fast-paced project to develop energy-efficient growing enclosures with tailored growing conditions, optimising the thermal envelope and heating/ventilation systems.  

Jonny performed exceptionally and was very self-driven, problem-solving as issues arose and fast to learn. He worked with plant scientists to identify the properties of an indoor environment that led to the best possible growing environments and gained an understanding of the science of gas and vapour mixtures, known as psychrometry.  The KTP has assisted the business to develop a totally new path in Ag-tech and go into food brand production


Justin McHenry


Queen’s University Belfast

VU.CITY creates large-scale digital 3D, interactive, models of cities throughout the UK and Ireland. The overarching aim of the KTP was to further develop the 3D model so that users could import their designs and receive an instantaneous evaluation, identifying problems and offering solutions to facilitate fast, effective, high-quality decision making by planners and public sector authorities. The model indicated if planning approval would be granted by identifying problems that could be remedied before full application.

This capability transformed VU.CITY from not just engaging with, but rather driving forward, the UK government and private sector’s emerging digitalisation agenda for the planning process. The dynamic, interoperable, data-rich, collaborative and trusted platform supports all aspects of the planning. Justin is an outstanding KTP Associate, exceeding all expectations. He has recalibrated VU.CITY’s approach to product development, and market engagement, reviewing and refining how the company operates in the global marketplace.


Louis Williams

Dynamic Planning 

University of Reading

The KTP aimed to enhance Distribution Technology’s position as a pioneer of novel techniques to most suitably match investors with appropriate financial products. The project combined quantitative analysis of the company’s large, complex databases with novel psychological insights of investor behaviour to create an understanding of why investors make specific decisions at particular times in economic cycles. 

The insights uncovered have enabled the company to develop two new product lines one aimed at Independent Financial Advisers and the other aimed at Fund Managers which are expected to accelerate the company’s growth as the UK’s most widely used risk profiling and asset allocation platform and facilitate entry to new, international markets.


Meghna De

IXYS UK Westcode Limited

University of Nottingham

IXYS UK’s strategic focus is the renewable energy sector, to contribute towards a greener economy and address specific opportunities where high performance and lifetime reliability are key to differentiation and gaining competitive advantage.

IXYS’s long-term vision is to establish itself as a centre of excellence for high reliability, high power technology (design and manufacturing); through the development and embedding of new tools, techniques and protocols, not only to enable future product development but also to support staff development and attract new talent, something that has been a long-term challenge for the business.

The specific ambition for this project was to enable more reliable, solder-free busbar attachments within high power modules. The collaboration with the team at the University of Nottingham has exceeded expectations and provided a firm foundation for a wide range of exciting new products with contemporary applications.  The knowledge and skills embedded by this KTP have enabled IXYS UK Westcode (Littelfuse) to scale up and grow their business at pace, through access to world-class research expertise.


Olivia Greenhalgh

Swellaway Limited

Manchester Metropolitan University

Swellaway applies rapid thermal exchange and compression to human and animal joints/muscles all in one simple to use portable patient wrap device. The technology has been developed over the past five years by a leading British university & product developers and is now in a rapid go to market phase.

Swellaway has created an innovative new device that provides highly targeted and precisely controlled temperature and compression therapy to the human musculoskeletal system (muscles, ligaments, joints). Our unique KTP means we work closely with academics from two universities; Manchester Metropolitan and Central Lancashire. This approach has helped to progress each stage of product development has been backed by robust scientific evidence thanks to the KTP. 


Verity Moorhouse

So Modular

Cardiff Metropolitan University

SO Modular are a rapidly expanding innovative offsite timber frame manufacturer based in South Wales specialising in the Design, Manufacture and erection of timber frame structures for both social and private sectors. SO Modular utilises State of the art Modern Methods of Construction to provide panelised and volumetric timber frame buildings to an extensive portfolio of clients including National Home Builders, Main Contractors, Local Authorities, Private Developers, Commercial Markets and Housing Associations across the UK.

The KTP between SO Modular and Cardiff Metropolitan University sought to pioneer the expansion of prefabricated components and transitioning into sustainable modular construction. Embedding a Hale Innovation Management System (HiMS), with a Holistic Feedback & Optimisation Loop (HFOL) for transparent cost appraisal/reduction, and product performance enhancement (golden threads).



About Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are a dynamic three- way collaboration between a business or not for profit organisation, one of the UK’s world- class knowledge bases, and a suitably qualified graduate. 

Working together this partnership powers strategic innovation projects, embeds expertise and drives commercial growth. The partnership is mutually beneficial, designed to result in lasting and transformative performance enhancements for the business; enriched applications of knowledge and research for the university; and an employment opportunity in a highly fulfilling role for the graduate. 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are funded by a grant to the university from Innovate UK and other government co-funders, and a cash contribution from the business involved. The programme is delivered by Knowledge Transfer Network, a network partner of Innovate UK. 

Interested in learning more? Find out here.


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