Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)

Watch this short video to find out how our research is boosting business innovation, through knowledge transfer partnerships and executive education modules on our MBA.

We are the leading University in the East of England and London for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, the flagship Innovate UK programme.

This national scheme part-funds a collaboration between your business and our university. Work with us to improve competitiveness, productivity and performance.

KTPs can address a specific strategic issue in your business, such as developing a new product or improving a business process.

How it works

We'll work with you to identify the right team for your project among our academics. Together, we'll then recruit a high-calibre postgraduate who will be based at your company as a research associate and who will manage the project. They'll have weekly catch-ups with our academics to ensure the project remains on-track, and a senior contact in your company will be involved throughout to ensure commercial focus - and projects last from six months to three years.

KTPs are sponsored by Innovate UK, Research Councils and a number of other bodies. Sponsors fund 67% of the project costs for an SME and 50% of the project costs for larger companies.

The benefits of partnership

KTPs help you to gain competitive advantage and ultimately improve profitability through:

  • access to highly qualified and motivated graduates
  • access to university expertise
  • getting innovative solutions to help your business grow
  • ideas to help develop your company for today's markets
  • getting investment in research and development

In this video we talk to business leaders working with us to innovate and grow, including Managing Director of Objective Computing Cathryn Fox, Chief Executive of Signal Media David Benigson, Managing Director of Dicam Technology Mark Nowell and Managing Director of Fläkt Woods Ian Morehouse.

Case studies

  • BT

    The business need

    BT wanted to exploit cutting-edge computational techniques to develop a remote workforce management system for its employees. So we set up a knowledge transfer partnership with BT and Innovate UK to add the latest technology into their drive for business innovation.

    The expertise

    Using our leading expertise in fuzzy logic and augmented reality, we devised a system that will enable senior BT field engineers to guide and advise junior colleagues remotely from the base office, using augmented reality headsets. This will let their most highly-skilled engineers focus on complex jobs while also upskilling junior engineers.

    The value

    This project has real business impact so BT was eligible to receive 50% funding from Innovate UK through the national knowledge transfer partnerships programme. For smaller businesses this support rises to 67%.

  • Signal

    The business need

    Signal is a media monitoring service provider that wanted to develop a software platform with a high level of in-built intelligence, removing the need for manual intervention. So we set up a knowledge transfer partnership with Signal and Innovate UK to add the latest technology into their drive for business innovation.

    The expertise

    Using our expertise in natural language engineering, we took a leading role on a project that saw Signal develop the capabilities to retrieve, clean and analyse huge data sets consisting of millions of pieces of media content. This enables Signal's clients to instantly and accurately search global media in real time, and it has quickly become central to their service offering. Within a year, Signal’s revenue exceeded £250k and it grew from a three-person operation to a rapidly growing start-up with 23 employees. Signal continues to grow and gather more clients and market share.

    The value

    This project has real business impact so Signal was eligible to receive 50% funding from Innovate UK through the national knowledge transfer partnerships programme. For smaller businesses this support rises to 67%.

  • Port of Felixstowe

    The business need

    The Port of Felixstowe is the UK’s busiest port. It wanted to explore solutions that had the potential to improve its complex scheduling processes, so that it could operate at an optimum level. So we set up a knowledge transfer partnership with the Port of Felixstowe and Innovate UK to add the latest technology into their drive for business innovation.

    The expertise

    Using our leading expertise in developing optimisation algorithms using artificial intelligence, and cutting edge software, we devised a project to help solve certain scheduling problems and schedule the labour force more intelligently. The two-year project has further enhanced the Port’s labour deployment processes allowing it to reduce waste costs and increase its customer service.

    The value

    This project has real business impact so the Port of Felixstowe was eligible to receive 50% funding from Innovate UK through the national knowledge transfer partnerships programme. For smaller businesses this support rises to 67%.

  • LPA Connection Systems

    The business need

    LPA Connection Systems provides robust electrical connectors and connection systems that offer high reliability and low maintenance costs for rail, aerospace, defence and marine industries. They wanted to develop their Ethernet connector so we set up a KTP (knowledge transfer partnership) with them and Innovate UK to add the latest technology into their drive for business innovation.

    The expertise

    The project aim was to develop Ethernet systems for trains offering high bandwidth and future-proofed against costly future upgrades. Our expertise helped develop the world’s first 10GbE bandwidth train Ethernet backbone over copper, providing more bandwidth and reducing the need for bandwidth upgrades in future.

    The value

    LPA launched the technology 12 months into the two-year KTP, receiving more than £1m in orders over the last year of the project, with orders continuing to grow after completion. This project had real business impact so LPA was eligible to receive 67% funding from Innovate UK through the national knowledge transfer partnerships programme. For larger businesses this support reduces to 50%.

  • Leonardo

    The business need

    Electronics business Leonardo wanted to exploit machine vision technology that could detect critical movement, and summarise that activity into visual video sequences. So we set up a knowledge transfer partnership with Leonardo and Innovate UK to add the latest technology into their drive for business innovation.

    The expertise

    Using our leading expertise in computational intelligence and video summarisation, we devised a system able to capture video data that can be analysed and used to evaluate certain situations, such as monitoring elderly or infirm people, or surveillance in sensitive locations. This data can be used to prompt further intervention.

    The value

    Leonardo has gained market share in the rapidly growing medtech sector and has a standing in the security technology market. Leonardo was eligible to receive 25% funding from Innovate UK through the national knowledge transfer partnerships programme. For smaller businesses this support rises to 67%.

Contact us

Robert Walker

Robert Walker

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Manager

University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ

Telephone 01206 874076

Email business@essex.ac.uk