18 April 2017

University of Essex moves into UK top 10 for Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

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Drone specialist Above Surveying is working with Essex on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Essex is now in the top 10 for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in the UK thanks to its success in forging new partnerships to drive innovation, productivity and competitiveness within UK businesses.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are Innovate UK’s flagship mechanism for collaboration. They connect businesses and social enterprises across the UK with expertise, cutting-edge technology and research in our universities and link them up with ambitious graduate talent.

According to the latest Innovate UK figures, the University of Essex now has more active Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with companies across the eastern region and London than any other. This places Essex amongst the very top universities in the UK.

Who we're working with at Essex

Companies working with the Essex on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships range from global brands – such as BT and Leonardo – through to fast-growing start-ups.

Start-ups which Essex is working with include Above Surveying, which is exploiting drone technology to monitor solar farm defects, and Orbital Media, which is using artificial intelligence to create automated online GPs to revolutionise the way patients are treated.

Essex has enjoyed huge success with KTPs over recent years and its partnership with Signal Media received Innovate UK’s Best of the Best Award – with the company recently securing investment of £5.8m through its latest funding round.

The University recently celebrated these successes across the East of England and London with the launch of its annual flagship KTP Celebration. This is set to be repeated this year on an even bigger scale to mark the jump into the UK top ten.

How Essex can help you

KTP Manager at the University of Essex, Rob Walker, said: “The University of Essex is reactive to business challenges – we welcome ambitious companies bringing their innovative plans to us to identify how we might support them.

“We are a research intensive university, and within that environment there is a real desire to apply this research in ways which impact business, the economy and wider society.

“The team have a 100% track record in securing Innovate UK investment for KTPs – with more than £1m being secured for businesses across the current portfolio. The structure and funding of a KTP are ideal for companies seeking a lower risk approach to innovation and scaling up their business.”

More about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships businesses are linked with a university and a high calibre graduate to work on a commercially important project.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are designed to meet a core strategic need and to identify innovative solutions to help a business grow.

Businesses can benefit as a direct result of the partnership through improvements to the quality of services and operations, increased sales and access to new markets.

Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. The academic institution employs the recently-qualified graduate who works at the company. The graduate, known as the ‘associate’, acts as the pivot to embed the new capability in the company.

A KTP can last between 12 and 36 months depending on the project and the needs of the business. It is part-funded by a grant (of 67% for SMEs and 50% for larger organisations). The amount businesses need to contribute is different for SMEs and larger companies.

Contact us

For more information about KTPs at Essex go to: www.essex.ac.uk/business/expertise/ktp/

You can contact Rob Walker by email at: r.walker@essex.ac.uk

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