The University of Nottingham has been awarded funding worth a total of £1.2m to help six small and medium sized businesses develop new technologies and ideas.
The funding, which has been secured from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), is for Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) projects with businesses in a range of industries.
KTP is a long-standing programme that uses the knowledge and technology of universities to help businesses improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance and meet core strategic needs to fuel growth
A UK-wide programme, KTPs taking part in the scheme typically receive between £80,000 and £120,000 in funding in order for them to work with a University. On average, the pre-tax profits of businesses taking part in the KTP programme increase by over £250,000.
A three-way partnership
A KTP is essentially a three-way project between a company, a university, and a recent graduate, where the business is able to utilise academic expertise in order to develop a new technology or improve products and processes.
Three of the businesses which are benefitting from the funding are based in the East Midlands, these include PEM (Power Electronic Measurements) of Long Eaton, who specialise in the design and manufacture of wide-bandwidth measuring devices; Delta Rail, based in Derby, the largest rail signalling control business in the UK, and Integrated Transport Planning Ltd from Nottingham, a company specialising in sustainable transport planning and research.
The University is running two KTP projects with PEM, the first to design new methods of DC current measurement and the second to develop and build high frequency current sources to calibrate and assess the effectiveness of wide-band current probes.
Simple application process
Speaking about securing the KTP projects with The University of Nottingham, Chris Hewson, Chief Executive of PEM, said: “We were very pleased at how simple The University of Nottingham made the process of applying for the KTPs and to get both projects approved is excellent news. We are now looking forward to progressing these exciting new developments.”
Neil Taylor from Nottingham based Integrated Transport Planning, commented: “We were delighted with our successful application with the University of Nottingham for TSB funding for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to develop the AccessAdvisor web-application, and conduct research into the presentation of map-based ‘Ease-of-access’ data for disabled people. The advice and support we received from the University, and its KTP team really helped us put together a strong application and sound project plan.”
Three businesses from outside the region were also successful in their KTP applications with The University of Nottingham, these included Veripos in Norwich which is working with the University to develop high accuracy satellite-based positioning for commercial applications; Photek, near Hastings which manufactures tubes and camera systems for photon detection and Krow Communications, a creative and advertising agency based in London and Birmingham which will be using the KTP project to develop data driven innovations across the business.
Utilising expertise from across the University
The KTP projects are involving academics from across the University. In addition to the more traditional Engineering based projects, others include the first ever KTP projects from the Schools of Maths and Geography as well as only the second project in Physics.
Paul Yeomans, KTP Manager at The University of Nottingham, said: “There is a wealth of Knowledge within the UK’s Universities that businesses could be accessing to help them develop cutting edge new products or services and government funding to help them do it. It’s also encouraging to see a greater uptake from local businesses in the KTP scheme over the past twelve months and internally it’s good to see that academics from across the institution are keen to work with businesses both small and large to help them grow and innovate”.
Helping small businesses become more innovative
Dan King, Head of Knowledge Transfer at the University, added: “We are serious about helping local small and medium sized enterprises drive economic growth in their businesses through exploiting our research expertise. We are increasingly working with smaller local businesses through projects such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships project and several other initiatives which are designed to help them become more innovative and improve their competitiveness through developing and expanding their products and services.”
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) support UK businesses wanting to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge and expertise available within UK Universities and Colleges.
For more information about KTPs contact the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/ktp
Photo shows, left to right: Andrea McCluskey (Business Development Executive for KTPs); Chris Hewson (Chief Executive of Power Electronics Measurements) and Nicola Moules (Business Development Executive for KTPs)