Any sector can benefit from the transformative collaborations between academia and forward-thinking organisations via the KTP programme.

Ranging from AI and Deep Learning for monitoring railway tunnels, through to the creation of new polymers; from developing market-disrupting Environmental Benchmarks though to data analysis for click-though rate prediction – the finalists in this year’s KTP Best of the Best Awards reflect the diverse range of innovation impacts enabled by Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

These three way partnerships – between a UK organization of any size, in any sector; an expert academic team; and a suitably qualified graduate – are designed to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project, and should benefit all three parties.

This year’s KTP Best of the Best Awards reflect the breadth and depth of positive outcomes as well as the extraordinary quality and diversity of projects benefiting from these unique partnerships. From Space Weather to Manufacturing innovation; Environmental advances to Materials science; Precision Marketing to New product development, KTP facilitates innovation in any sector, across any type of project, through collaborative partnership.

The shortlist for the awards includes Scotland-based Geckotech Solutions’ collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University to develop transforming structural condition monitoring through the development and deployment of computer vision, signal processing and machine learning systems.

Also on the shortlist are Spirent Communications and the University of Bath for their project, demonstrating how GPS simulation in a university research endeavour can result in a commercial product that enhances human safety. Another finalist, Principle Healthcare’s partnership with the University of Bradford, resulted in transformative change – both in financial performance and supply safety – by developing in-house granulation technology for nutritional supplements.

LMK Thermosafe– specialist producer of temperature-controlled packaging – entered its KTP with Queen Mary University London to develop novel conductive polymer composites, characterised by tuneable pyro-resistive properties, for self-regulating heating devices. The challenge was one both of Material Science and, in order to use this material to design innovative commercial industrial products, it posed Mechanical, Electrical and Production Engineering challenges too – and triumphed in all!

From predicting click-through rates from advertising (Clicksco – Durham University) to developing the next generation of scheduling tools (EventMap – University of Nottingham); and designing manufacturing technology for the volume production of In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) Devices (Sarissa Biomedical – Aston University) to creating a next-generation flow meter communications platform (Mainstream Measurements – University of Huddersfield), the breadth of projects in this year’s Awards demonstrates just how comprehensive the reach of KTP is across innovation of every kind.

Business Impact Award Finalists:

  • Company: Principle Healthcare; KB: the University of Bradford; KTP Associate, Dr Suyog Aher
    Project: Development of in-house granulation technology
  • Company: BemroseBooth Paragon Ltd, KB: University of Hull, Associate: Mr Haydn J. Ward
    Project: Production expansion and international development of market for magnetic ink in mass ticketing systems
  • Company: Recycling Lives Ltd, KB – University of Central Lancashire, Associate– Dr Ala Khodier
    Project: Innovative reuse of residue from car recycling

Finalists and winners will attend a special Awards Ceremony on 2nd May where Innovate UK’s Interim Executive Chair, Dr Ian Campbell ,and Clive Grinyer, Design Advocate, will give the keynotes and winners will be announced.

KTP aims to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills held within the UK knowledge base. The Knowledge Transfer Network delivers the KTP programme for Innovate UK, funded by UK Research and Innovation as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

Further information about KTPs is here and applications for funding are open all year round.

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