This year’s KTP Awards are celebrating the outstanding work of KTP projects across the country. The Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership Award recognises teams who demonstrate exceptional achievements across all three Partners: Business; Academic; and Associate.

 Read on to see who is in contention for this award at the Innovate UK KTP Awards, happening in Liverpool on 12th October (register here).

Cirdan Imaging Ltd
Queen’s University Belfast
Jonathan Armstrong as the Associate

Globally, there is a dwindling number of pathologists and biomedical scientists. A reduced workforce, early detection testing and an ageing population are increasing pathologists’ workload, which in turn can lead to delays in patient treatment leading to poorer patient outcomes. To solve this crisis, a solution to increase productivity is required.

Cirdan designs, manufactures and supplies innovative imaging solutions that enhance and speed-up clinical diagnostic processes by streamlining operations in clinical laboratories worldwide. The company’s vision is to improve well-being through innovation, with a focus on intelligent solutions for pathology.

Collaborating with Queen’s University Belfast allowed the academic team to apply their knowledge to the medical image-based diagnosis sector to create a real-world impact.

The overall aim of the project was to enhance pathology medical device products with clinical expert intelligence derived from an embedded deep learning system. The major objectives of the project were to develop and integrate an AI model, for the detection of calcification in mammograms, and to develop an AI model for tumour detection in colon polyp whole slide images.

As the KTP progressed, and the technology advanced, an additional objective was included. The KTP wanted to maximise impact and reach by providing AI classifications and algorithm execution as Azure cloud deployment, to tie into the company’s move to the cloud.

Jonathan developed two AI products, firstly an AI algorithm for Cirdan’s CoreLite x-ray product. This allows customers worldwide to send a secure image and receive an annotated result. Secondly, in collaboration with a consultant pathologist from the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast, a 95% accuracy cloud-based AI algorithm for detecting tumours in any polyp image.

With support from leading academics and the motivated and dynamic Associate, this project has been central in helping Cirdan define a data analytics vision, taking the original AI concept for the business and working with key stakeholders to develop machine learning solutions.

Due to the success of the KTP’s collaborations, Cirdan has evolved into the Pathology Data Analytics and AI sphere. The knowledge transferred in this partnership embedded invaluable expertise in deep learning and cloud base AI solutions, allowing Cirdan to offer AI-enabled products and software to their global healthcare partners.


Partnership Medical Ltd
Aston University
Thien Duong as the Associate

Endoscopes are multi-use medical devices that can’t be sterilised in an autoclave because of sensitive materials and electronics. The potential for cross-infection occurring due to inadequate/improper cleaning and disinfection procedures is high.

Contaminated scopes represent a significant risk to patients who often have compromised immune systems. In the US, deaths have been reported due to endoscopy-acquired
infection which led to a tightening of legislation, increasing costs and decreasing the availability of endoscopy-related provisions.

Partnership Medical is a medical device manufacturer which distributes low-cost consumable products. The primary KTP objective was to replace inconsistent manual cleaning with an automated, consistent, controllable process to improve cleanliness and deliver high-level disinfection to minimise/eradicate cross-infection. By collaborating with Aston University, Aston benefited from a new avenue of research into biologically-active nanoparticles

The formulation created by Thien along with the newly created automated endoscope-washing machine transpired into the ability to completely clean an endoscope, direct from the clinic, in just five minutes. The hygiene levels achieved far surpassed those currently possible using conventional manual procedures employed worldwide today.

This KTP played a pivotal role in the way endoscopes will be cleaned in hospitals and clinics in future. The process is quick, cheap, and easy to perform with automation ensuring complete and reproducible cleaning. The outcomes of this KTP will enable more scope-based procedures to be completed each day, and at the same time, prevent people from dying from infections caused by contaminated scopes.


University of East London
Nour Rteil as the Associate

The digital sector appears as part of the solution in each of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, resulting in data centre expansion predicted to increase 500% globally by 2030. Finding solutions that reuse and reconfigure servers is essential to achieve development goals.

Techbuyer is a sustainable IT hardware solutions provider that specialises in product life extension for servers, storage and networking. It has an IT Asset Disposition division, which provides secure, environmentally friendly services for the removal and treatment of redundant ICT.

In collaboration with the University of East London and programming and research expert, Nour, this KTP aimed to create and embed sophisticated data centre modelling capabilities focused on driving the circular economy and the green environment agenda.

The focus was to quantifiably demonstrate where data centre IT systems could save money without compromising on quality or service in terms of computing power, by deploying optimally refurbished computer systems rather than buying new and scrapping the old.

The KTP changed the understanding of how servers work and the decision-making processes data centre managers go through when refreshing hardware. Its results have informed other research projects, and government policy and created a first-to-market tool for businesses to use in their carbon and energy reporting.

This benchmark testing was the first worldwide to prove that there is no performance degradation in refurbished servers compared to the same make and model of new. It was also the first to compare performance and energy efficiency on different generations of machines with appropriate component-level upgrades.

The KTP demonstrated clearly that central processing units no longer double in performance every two years, that many performance increases can be achieved by upgrading other components such as storage and RAM, and that there is now a very real case for upgrading older machines with immediate past generations rather than new ones.

Register for the KTP Awards 2022

The KTP Awards recognise the people and partnerships behind the UK’s most inspiring and successful KTP projects. Highlighting these outstanding partnerships is just the tip of the iceberg, with more than 800 inspiring collaborations currently happening across the country.

If you want to attend the awards virtually or join us in person, you can register here.

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