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Accelerating Business Innovation Accelerating Business Innovation MaC2392 - KTP Booklet (5) (Business Version).indd 1 19/02/2015 08:24

KTP case study booklet

Apr 08, 2016



The University of Wolverhampton has an excellent track record in the delivery of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and a strong commitment to improving the economic prosperity of the region. KTPs are a UK wide programme designed to help businesses improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills.
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Page 1: KTP case study booklet

Accelerating Business Innovation

Accelerating Business


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“The University of Wolverhampton is committed to developing links with businesses and sharing our knowledge and expertise. KTP is an excellent knowledge transfer mechanism that genuinely benefits those involved, giving businesses competitive advantage and fundamentally improving their bottom line, while providing graduates with a great way to get into their chosen career path and apply their degree level expertise.”Marc FleethamDirector, Business Solutions, University of Wolverhampton Regional Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Programme Director

Businesses gain the full-time support of a skilled graduate to manage new projectsAdvanced Chemical Etching LtdKTP is the ACE up the sleeve

Advanced Chemical Etching Ltd (ACE) is constantly stretching the boundaries of innovation in delivering solutions to some of the world’s biggest names. Located in Shropshire, the company specialises in the manufacture of precision photo etched metal components for customers involved in the aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical and fuel cell industries.

The company identified a need to improve its existing process for etching aluminium, an attractive metal with many applications in the automotive and aerospace industries. KTP was seen as the ideal mechanism to improve ACE’s processes and meet the requirements of customers. Dr Muhammad Eesa, a graduate in Chemical Engineering, was recruited by the University of Wolverhampton as a KTP Associate, working as Technical Research Manager within ACE.


• Increased capability of etching aluminium to high quality standards.

• New business opportunities in the aerospace, automotive and electronics industries.

• New skills and knowledge embedded into the company.

• Improved customer satisfaction due to higher quality and more cost effective products.

• Increased awareness and accessibility of the University’s capability and resources.

• Development of a new manufacturing degree at the University.

• Associate employed permanently at end of KTP.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

KTP is a UK-wide programme designed to help businesses improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills.

The programme involves a three-way partnership between a company, a highly qualified graduate (called an Associate) and university experts.

The partnership's objectives are to help meet business goals, by working to implement an innovative, high impact project which is central to the company's strategic development.

Up to 60% of the cost of a KTP is met by funding from Innovate UK and other funding organisations.

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“The KTP has been a real success story and shows what can be achieved from collaboration between academia and industry. As a result of the KTP, a new awareness has established itself in the mind-set of the company from the managing director down. Total credit to the Associate and University of Wolverhampton.” Alan Rollason, Company Chairman “The KTP project was a fantastic learning experience for me and a great opportunity to experience the manufacturing industry first-hand. The support I had throughout the project from the University of Wolverhampton and Advanced Chemical Etching was critical to the success of the project. This success is an example of the potential that collaboration between industry and learning organisations can offer for the benefit of everyone.” Dr Muhammad Eesa, KTP Associate

“The project allowed the university and company to work together on developing this novel process with an excellent Associate, which has opened up new business opportunities for ACE. The partnership also gave the academics involved current experience of manufacturing – to be fed back into teaching – and has added to our related research areas. We hope to remain involved in moving the business forward and look forward to further collaborations in the future.”

Julian Spence, Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Science and Engineering

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KTP offers ongoing bespoke business support from a University expert and access to the University’s extensive resources, including facilities and skills.Integrated System Technologies LtdKTP provides a guiding light for IST

Integrated System Technologies Ltd (IST) is an international product design and manufacturing company specialising in energy efficient LED lighting products. It is renowned for its technically innovative, high performance products targeting commercial, residential and industrial markets.

After a sustained period of rapid growth, the company identified a need to establish new robust product development procedures. This was to enable it to focus its product development efforts to greater effect where it offered true strategic impact. The company wanted to integrate the latest computer-aided design (CAD) methods such as 3D parametric modelling and thermal finite element analysis.

James Pryde, a recent graduate in Mechanical Engineering, was recruited by the University of Wolverhampton as a KTP Associate, working as Product Development Engineer for IST.

Results• 200% growth in company turnover.• Associate embedded new systems within

the company to take concepts through to production covering justification, design, thermal analysis, lighting effect analysis, manufacture and testing.

• The implementation of CAD software helped the company develop new products quickly and efficiently, opening up new marketing opportunities.

• Associate attended conferences in Japan and California to deliver technical papers and reports on innovations in design and testing associated with LED product development.

• Numerous products developed over the course of the project; including a high power, ultra versatile spotlight known as the Magna, allowing IST to move into new markets such as architecture and theatre.

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“The KTP was very rewarding as it allowed optimised new product development processes to be embedded, improving productivity, time to market and design practice innovation. Strong academic links were invaluable to bring new ideas and processes into the company resulting in near double company turnover since the project start.” Dr Geoff Archenhold, Company Director

“Experience balancing economic pressures, user requirements and company constraints in commercial product development was extremely valuable. I saw first-hand the key role it plays in commercial strategy and developed project management skills incorporating budgeting, team work and self-discipline within a very fulfilling position.”

James Pryde, KTP Associate

“James embedded a new product development system that reduced time to market by more than six months and introduced new capabilities such as electronic, mechanical and optical design. The University learnt a great deal from their integration in an environment with no previous analysis systems and saw work presented at a number of international conferences and publications.”

Jon Rackley, Lead Academic, Faculty of Science and Engineering

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KTPs generate an average increase of over £290,000 in annual profits before taxTough Furniture Ltd Award-winning partnership in tough times

Tough Furniture Ltd design and manufacture strong, durable and safe furniture to meet the needs of challenging environments; including young offenders institutions, social care homes and mental health units. The company was established in 1997 and is based in Craven Arms, Shropshire.

Tough Furniture required additional expertise and capacity in order to achieve their aims of establishing a dedicated design capability, creating an accessible CAD library and developing new product ranges.

Rhys Thomas, a graduate in Product Design, was employed as a KTP Associate to address the company's challenges and help them move forward. He was mentored throughout the scheme by Robert Cooksey, a senior lecturer in Furniture Design at the University of Wolverhampton.

Results• 20 percent increase in company profits.• Reduced production time and costs.• All products now have an assembly manual.• Tough now has a dedicated design capability.• Company won the special recognition

category at the National Impact Awards, run by PraxisUnico.

• Tough won the Technology, Enterprise and Innovation Award at the Shropshire Chamber Business Awards.

• Associate employed permanently as Design Manager.

• University were able to relay business processes and operations into teaching.

• KTP funded a trip to the world's largest furniture fair in Milan.

• The company has continued to work with the University.

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“The KTP has proved very rewarding for Tough Furniture; the programme has equipped the company with sought-after expertise and resources which have helped increase efficiency and productivity. The company now has a dedicated design capability which would have been difficult to establish without the programme.”

Nigel Reaney, Commercial Director

“The KTP has enabled me to develop new and existing skills that I would not have had the opportunity to do so otherwise. I was able to utilise these skills in helping Tough Furniture improve its service and product offering within a competitive market. It has been a great honour to help Tough Furniture become an award-winning company.”

Rhys Thomas, KTP Associate

“It was a rewarding experience to undertake a collaborative venture with Tough Furniture, as they are a dynamic and innovative company who are focused on solving real world design issues that can significantly impact and improve people’s lives.”

Robert Cooksey, Senior Lecturer of Furniture Design, Faculty of Arts

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Graduates are able to apply their degree directly to their job and make an immediate impact through project ownership.Crestwood Environmental LtdA partnership with environmental benefits

Crestwood Environmental Ltd provides cost-effective environmental consultancy services relating to waste management, minerals, renewable energy and other land development sectors; they have a range of clients in the UK, Ireland and beyond.

The company identified a need to embed fresh knowledge and skills into the company, specifically within the areas of bioaerosols, in order to increase the level of service offered to the waste industry. Stephanie Hall, a University of Wolverhampton graduate in Biological Science, was recruited as a KTP Associate to work on all aspects of bioaerosol monitoring and reporting for the company.


• 10% increase in Crestwood's sales turnover and market share.

• Increased level of service offered by the company to the waste industry.

• New skills and knowledge embedded into the company.

• Increased awareness and accessibility of the University's capability and resources.

• Company's client list enhanced.• Associate gained national recognition as

an expert in her field.• Company have continued to work with the

University.• Creation of one new postgraduate course

and three undergraduate projects in Environmental Science.

• Company were shortlisted for the Innovation in Development award at the 2010 Lord Stafford Awards.

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“The company found the KTP scheme invaluable. The scheme has had clear and measurable effects on turnover and profit for the company. Working closely with academics at the University, tailoring the KTP research to industry-specific problems has increased our profile in the industry and has achieved the goal set at the outset of the project, to be respected as experts in the field of bioaerosol monitoring, providing a professional service. The KTP has forged strong links with Crestwood and the University which we hope to continue to build on in the future. I would recommend the KTP scheme to any organisation that may be looking to carry out research, while at the same time embedding knowledge in their organisation, using the skills of both academics at the University and the Associate.”

Sid Lambert, Managing Director

“The University of Wolverhampton is a leading provider of Knowledge Exchange programmes including KTPs. We are delighted to have supported the embedding of microbiology expert knowledge into Crestwood Environmental, a regionally based company with a growing national and international reputation as industry leaders in waste-to-energy and composting site monitoring. In return, the KTP has made a positive impact on my School’s consultancy work and provided an excellent source of guest lecturers for our courses.”

Dr David Hill, Lead Academic, School of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering

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Many businesses continue to collaborate with the University on activities including live student briefs, joint events and using successful former Associates to mentor new Associates during a second KTP programme.The Severn Partnership Ltd Success by design at Severn

Severn Partnership is a fi rm of Chartered Land Surveyors based in Shrewsbury. The company survey, measure and monitor data to produce high quality plans, sections and elevations. Severn, established 30 years ago, work across the UK and overseas.

The company wanted to establish 3D modelling and building information modelling (BIM) as core services within its business. Severn envisaged that the new services could be facilitated through the introduction of a dedicated 3D modelling department. However, the company lacked the required level of expertise to develop the services.

Mark King was employed by the University as a KTP Associate to work for Severn as 3D Modelling and Visualisation Designer. A new dynamic 3D modelling department was created during the KTP, which paid signifi cant dividends to the company.


• 3D modelling related services equates to 15% of sales turnover.

• Now known within the UK industry as foremost experts in 3D modelling and survey to BIM.

• Company now exploring previously untapped markets.

• New capabilities have opened up potential new revenue streams for the company.

• Associate employed permanently by company as 3D Modelling Project Manager.

• New postgraduate course in BIM has been established at the University of Wolverhampton.

• Success of KTP has led to two additional KTPs, with Mark supervising one of the new Associates.

• Several university graduates hired to work in 3D department since its formation.

• Shortlisted for the 2014 KTP Business Impact Award

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“From conceiving the idea through implementation to completion, this KTP has been the ideal vehicle for our diversification project. We have seen the benefits from increased workload, reduced risk through wider diversification, and increased training and awareness for staff.”

Mark Combes, Managing Director

‘This project has been one of the most enjoyable and challenging things I have ever done. I don’t think I would have had half the opportunities to expand my knowledge and experience as I have had with KTP, Severn and the University of Wolverhampton.”

Mark King, KTP Associate

“The KTP was an excellent experience. The knowledge developed has transformed some of the modules I teach and has led to a new postgraduate course in BIM being established. I would highly recommend undertaking a KTP to all academics.”

Dr David Heesom, Department of Architecture and Design

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Many of the companies the University works with employ their Associate at the end of their programme.H&R ChemPharm (UK) Ltd KTP has the right chemistry for success

H&R ChemPharm, based in Tipton, West Midlands, is one of the UK’s key oil and wax blenders. H&R offers unparalleled service in the supply of cable compounds, blended wax, wax emulsions, process oils, personal care materials and water blocking compounds.

In order to both maintain and develop its market position, the company highlighted the need to explore new market opportunities and product streams. One area identified was the application of Super Absorbent Polymers (SAPs) to coat yarns and non-woven fabric tape to create water expandable cable wraps; however, without a detailed scientific knowledge of the application and the constraints placed on the SAP, this would be difficult to achieve.

Significant insight was also needed in the development of wax emulsions for applications within the board and insulation manufacturing sectors, along with wax specifically for equestrian track surfaces and arenas.

Nnamdi Amatobi, a Master of Research graduate in Polymer Science and Technology, was taken on by the company as a KTP Associate, working as a product development chemist.

The KTP project has contributed to the introduction of the Sahara product, a new superabsorbent polymer product with a number of applications identified in civil engineering, construction, cable construction and water / fluids management. In addition, new wax emulsion streams were identified for applications in equestrian track surfaces, glass wool insulation and gypsum slurries.


• H&R ChemPharm now have a deeper understanding of the science behind its superabsorbent polymers.

• Sahara coated geotextile used to reinstate dam in North Wales.

• Sahara coated geotextile used to line the Montgomery Canal.

• Emulsions products for glass wool insulation, wood products, equestrian surface applications and gypsum slurries.

• Company won Business Innovation Award at the Express and Star Business Awards in 2012 for Sahara.

• Associate offered permanent job within the company.

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“The KTP has brought added value to our new product development process and has enabled us to strengthen our position in two key sectors for our business, achieved through the launch of a number of new products and the additional development of an existing product for new market areas.” Neil Redpath, Product Development Manager

“My KTP experience involving the University of Wolverhampton and H&R ChemPharm has been very enriching and rewarding, with successful outcomes for all stakeholders.”

Nnamadi Amatobi, KTP Associate

“Much of the success of the KTP was due to the excellent working relationship between the Associate, H&R ChemPharm and the academic team from the University. By the end of the project, the company had a deeper understanding of the basic chemistry of their products and also two new innovative products that could be taken to the market place.”

Professor Craig Williams, Lead Academic, Faculty of Science and Engineering

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The KTP team at the University has worked on more than 150 programmes over the past 20 years.OSILSuccessful KTP gives Staffordshire-based company the competitive edge

OSIL is an independent engineering service and solution provider based in the West Midlands, specialising in the field of odour and air pollution abatement and treatment. OSIL provides a range of services from consultancy, design and build, asset refurbishment, and service and maintenance, with a particular focus on providing an independent, tailored solution to meet clients’ needs.

OSIL formed a KTP with the University of Wolverhampton to build up and expand their knowledge base and set up laboratory facilities to enable the development of bacterial cultures. Dr. Wan Li Low, a Biological Science Researcher, was taken by OSIL as KTP Associate working as Process Development Scientist.


• Development of a new generation of non-chemical odour biofiltration systems – the results of which has seen OSIL generate over £5 million of new business.

• Project awarded Certificate of Excellence by the KTP Grading Panel.

• Associate won a prestigious award from the Technology Strategy Board – Business Leader of Tomorrow 2013.

• Strategic positioning of the company has led to growth and expansion with increasing number of employees and higher involvement in overseas and developing markets.

• Success of the KTP has led to an extension of the current project via a shorter KTP to allow further advancement in the current developments.

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“The KTP has been a crucial aspect in differentiating the company’s offerings in the marketplace, which has been key to recent growth and the success enjoyed by OSIL. The OSIL brand is now underpinned by innovation and this is largely due to the efforts of the staff, structures and outputs of the KTP.”

Guy Forrest-Hay, Director of Sales & Marketing

“The experience from the KTP has provided the opportunity to develop myself and prove my capabilities as a good scientific researcher with strong business acumen. I have learnt a lot and enjoyed myself as a KTP Associate. I am looking forward to an exciting career as a consultant microbiologist.”

Dr Wan Li Low, KTP Associate

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this KTP project, which has also inspired a number of related research projects for our own MSc students, provided new teaching material, as well as publications and conference presentations. The University has benefitted from updating laboratory equipment, and new company links have been established – very helpful in fulfilling our role in community and industry engagement.”

Dr Clive Roberts, Senior Lecturer in Geography and Environmental Science

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To find out how KTP could accelerate innovation within your business: Tel: 01902 321 272

Email: [email protected]:

Follow us@wlv_uni_ktp /wlvktp

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