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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships lead the way in business and academic collaboration

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) lead the way in business and academic collaboration. In this article we explore the benefits that KTPs have bought to both partners and report on our annual KTP dinner and awards ceremony.

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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships lead the way in business and academic collaboration

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) lead the way in business and academic collaboration. In this article we explore the benefits that KTPs have bought to both partners and report on our annual KTP dinner and awards ceremony.

When it comes to demonstrating the financial and innovation benefits that can be gained from business and academic collaboration, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) lead the way. For nearly 50 years, KTPs have been helping businesses innovate for growth. They do this by connecting businesses that have an innovation idea with the academic expertise to help deliver it. Each KTP represents a three-way partnership between a business, a KTP Associate (a talented graduate or postgraduate), and an academic who applies the outcomes of their research to real world business challenges.

KTPs at BCU cover themes as wide as AI, VR, Engineering, Health Services, Marketing, Linguistics, Automotive and Construction. They are part of a national network Innovate UK KTP programme, consisting of over 800 businesses, 100 knowledge bases, and 800 graduates engaged with KTPs.

The financial benefits of KTPs

Over the last 10 years, it’s estimated by Innovate UK, the national innovations agency, that KTPs have:

  • Generated up to £2.3bn in net Gross Value Added for the UK economy.
  • Returned up to £5.50 in net economic benefits for every £1 spent.

From a business perspective:

  • 83% of businesses engaged with KTPs reported increases in productivity, profitability, employment or turnover.
  • 92% of knowledge partners reported an enhanced understanding of industry challenges.

Natalie Lewis, Head of Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement at BCU, said “One of the reasons BCU has supported KTPs for so long is on account of their clear impact on levels of innovation and business growth, which is core to our DNA as a University. A central component of KTPs is the collaboration – the bringing together of business expertise, knowledge base partners and our academic community, and individual associates, embedded within companies.”

BCU’s annual KTP dinner and awards ceremony

Almost 100 KTP associates, academics and businesses recently gathered for BCU’s annual KTP dinner and awards ceremony. This coincided with a KTP Associate Poster Competition which showcased 13 KTP projects that demonstrated the impact of the KTP in a visual format.

The event was attended by Richard Lamb, KTP Programme Manager at Innovate UK and BCU’s new Pro Vice-Chancellor Harris Beider who handed out the awards. The KTP Associate Poster Competition winners included Charlotte-Rose Kennedy Early Stage KTP poster competition winner for her KTP with Senso Software (Renato Ltd), a cloud-based software company; and Chun Ho winner of the mid-way stage KTP poster competition for his KTP with Diamond Centre Wales Limited.

Partners from industry were effusive regarding the impact of the KTP project, demonstrated through case study video testimonials presented at the event.  Special recognition awards presented included:

BCU KTP Business Impact awarded to the Hadley Group, a leading manufacturer of cold rolled metal technologies, who recently secured a new £100m contract, partly based on the innovation derived from their KTP

BCU Special Recognition awarded to Hockley Mint, established in 1953 in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter, leaders in the supply of ethic gold and part of the National Association of Jewellers.  The award acknowledged Hockley’s and celebrated a relationship with BCU spanning 20 years collaboration on KTP project.

KTP activity started at BCU in 1976, with the university now ranked #6 nationally by Innovate UK in terms of the volume of KTPs it manages. At the end of the last academic year, the university’s Knowledge Transfer team oversaw a portfolio of 32 KTPs either live, in progress or completed in a year, with an associated project portfolio value of £5.8m.

A KTP could benefit your business by;

  • Receiving strategic knowledge  and guidance from a dedicated team of  business specialists and IUK KT Advisors
  • Gaining access to BCU’s academic expertise, resources and state-of the-art facilities
  • Providing the skills your organisation needs to deliver bespoke innovative solutions by a full-time KTP Associate
  • Developing insight and a competitive edge through accelerated innovation
  • Embedding new knowledge and expertise in your business
  • Expanding capabilities to foster a culture of innovation
  • Exploring opportunities for creating Intellectual Property
  • Increasing revenue / profits through access to new markets, new product development, increased productivity and processes

Typically, KTP projects deliver value add for businesses and a commercial value measured over 5 years, in addition to fast-tracked shorter term tangible benefits that accrue during the project.

If you’re looking for support to deliver research and development activities, and would like to know more about KTPs, please contact BCU’s Knowledge Transfer team.

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