As part of International Women’s Day (and do join a jam packed day of events here organised by our KTN colleagues for Innovate UK), we wanted to bring you some perspectives from some of the many women driving and supporting innovation via Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).  

These three way partnerships link businesses with academic teams to solve a key strategic innovation challenge. They bring about real transformation, enabling fresh thinking and deep academic knowledge to help solve real world problems. 

KTN’s national network of Knowledge Transfer Advisers (KTAs) plays a key role in the success of each KTP project.  With more than half a millennium of experience between them, our Advisers are a highly valuable, trusted source of expertise, with a wealth of specialist knowledge, business acumen and essential KTP know-how.

As well as supporting each project, our KTAs provide a vital mentoring role to KTP Associates – the talented graduates/post graduates who lead each project.

Here are some of their voices:

 Jan Stringer – Knowledge Transfer Adviser, KTN

Working on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships for 16 years I have met an amazing array of leaders of innovative  businesses, the acceleration of the number of women I deal with over the past 5 years has been astounding- long may if continue!

Fiona Nightingale – Senior Knowledge Transfer Adviser, KTN

I have been working as  a woman in the field of Innovation for the last 26 years  and how things have changed!  From being the only woman in our team  and working almost entirely with male academics and  male dominated  businesses, I am delighted that the world of innovation is now filled with many highly talented women bringing new and exciting perspectives to innovation and knowledge transfer.

Jose Freedman – Knowledge Transfer Adviser, KTN

Now working in the field of Innovation, I started my career more than 35 years ago in grimy factories in heavy engineering – a sector dominated by men ……… and I’ve loved every minute of it!  No one has stood in my way and always I’ve been offered kindness, respect, support and opportunities to progress.  It’s been full of excitement, never a dull moment – and I wouldn’t have changed a minute of it.  Go girls, go!

Lorna HowarthKnowledge Transfer Adviser, KTN

I started off in the sciences and was drawn to the exciting field of innovation over 12 years ago. Having worked in innovation ecosystems in both the UK and the Sultanate of Oman, I have noticed that the world of innovation is positively changing. It is inspiring to see more women take opportunities to become leaders in this exciting area.

Philippa Ryan – Knowledge Transfer Adviser, KTN

Encouraging and supporting innovative thinking is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.  My engineering background enables me to appreciate innovation in science and technology, but by connecting businesses keen to grow with experts in academia with the right knowledge, I have learned so much more about people, the importance of networking, and how amazing innovations can emerge from a chance conversation!

Susan Suttle – Knowledge Transfer Adviser, KTN

I have been very fortunate to have made a career out of working at the interface between academia and Industry, where collective ideas spark the potential for new disruptive innovations and competitive advantage.  Over the past 20 years I have had the pleasure of working with some great women in innovation; from inspirational academic leaders, to directors of exciting forward thinking businesses and of course our KTP Associates who are putting innovation into practice and constantly surprise me with their pure talent, grit and determination to succeed.

 Dr Blessing Mbipom – KTP Associate

“ I am grateful that I can use my expertise and skills to make an impact by creating an innovative and engaging digital learning solution for industry. “

Find out more about Blessing’s KTP project here

 Leona McGirr – KTP Associate

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships help drive the future of innovation, they provide the necessary support to improve and change, the way companies work and I believe everyone should consider a KTP if they want to pursue a career in innovation. With so much brilliant innovation going on in the scientific world at present, it feels like a great opportunity to inspire other women to realise their full potential as future innovators.

I would encourage anyone, especially young women, who have an interest in STEM  to look at the wide range of careers and opportunities available through KTP to help build and advance their careers.

Hear Leona discuss her project here. 

Elle Perschke – KTP Associate

Working in Innovation has shown me how important it was to have strong female role models in my life who inspired me to feed my curiosity, and I owe my experience to the Sisterhood who believed in me. Becoming a KTP Associate has given me the opportunity to extend my hand to women so we may lift each other up and continue opening the doors that were once closed to us.

See Elle discussing her project here.

Interested in engaging in KTP?

  • If you’re a business, you can apply for funding year round. Find out more here  
  • If you’re interested in finding out more about working as a KTP Associate you can do so here, and see the latest jobs here.

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