Jessica Boot-Marshall: The benefits of KTPs for your business

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) are a great way of providing an injection of fresh skills and talent into your company whilst developing a new and innovative product, process or service to help you grow and develop as a business.

The concept behind them is simple; companies identify a key strategic barrier to their growth ambitions that they don’t have the skills or knowledge internally to overcome.

They form a partnership with academics at a university who specialise in this field, and together develop a collaborative research project to come up with a new and novel solution which the business can then exploit commercially.

A graduate, referred to as an Associate, is employed for the duration of the project. They are based within the business but also work with the academic, accessing university facilities and resources for the benefit of the project.

Through this three way partnership the company benefits in that they are able to access the latest academic thinking and knowledge of the Associate, resulting in commercial growth and increased competitiveness.

The academic is able to apply their research in an industrial environment, testing it in a real world scenario for research papers and journals.

Finally the Associate gains a graduate level position, giving them access to both industry and academia, and the opportunity to develop the experience to support their previous academic learning.

The University of Lincoln has a strong track record with supporting KTPs, with academics from across the institution being involved in a multitude of successful projects ranging from academic fields.

Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Limited, based in Lincoln, have been working with academics in the School of Engineering on a two year KTP. Through the project they recruited a graduate, Jombo Gbanaibolou, with a PHD in Aerospace from Cranfield University.

Tony Latimer, Group Manager – Remote Diagnostic Systems at Siemens, is the KTP Company Supervisor, he said: “We started a KTP looking at how we can use intelligent sensors to automate the testing of our sub-15MW gas turbines.

:The Associate that we appointed, in conjunction with the University, has been very professional in his approach to working in our business, and very knowledgeable, not only with respect to gas turbines but also in the field of data analytics, which has meant that the project has progressed very rapidly and we are confident that it will deliver everything and more than we originally hoped for.

“I would recommend the KTP program to any business that has a challenge to address but not the correct skill set in house.”

For Jombo, the KTP Associate employed on the project, it has also been a positive experience, ‘KTP is an exciting experience! For the Associate, it provides that unique blend between working for industry and carrying out research.

What’s most interesting about the KTP, every problem is key for the industrial partner’s future growth. This is very satisfying as you are part of something valuable.’

To find out more about KTPs contact Jessica Boot-Marshall, Business Development Officer (Innovate UK); [email protected], 01522 837891.