UWE helps turn safety flooring into work of art

Issue date: 28 May 2009


New associate Alison Slater The University of the West of England's print experts are teaming up with Bristol-based Dycem, a company making safety flooring and non-slip products, to spice up their products with printed images or company logos. Until now the contamination control flooring and mats, used in factories and hospitals, have only been available in plain colours.

Now the company has set up a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with UWE's Centre for Fine Print Research to use their knowledge of specialist printing techniques to find ways of printing customer logos, patterns, or advertising and marketing messages on the flooring.

Mark Dalziel, Managing Director of Dycem said, “This partnership will enable us to create a premium product for new and existing customers. Part of the project is to build a dedicated, in-house design and print facility to enable on-demand print manufacturing. The printed flooring will be an eye-catching and innovative promotional tool for our customers to communicate marketing messages and will increase our profitability.”

This new KTP builds on a previous successful partnership between the company and the UWE's Bristol Business School which explored international distribution channels for the company. Dycem offers work placements to UWE students and has already employed a number of UWE graduates.

Academic supervisor Dr Paul Thirkell said, “This new KTP is directly linked to CFPR's knowledge on inks and wide-format printing, and is a great opportunity to extend this experience for use on different substrates such as specialist flooring and textiles. The project is a great example of applying design knowledge in an industrial setting.”

Alison Slater, a First Class honours graduate from University of Plymouth, who was born and brought up in Bristol and attended Monks Park School, has been appointed to carry out the project.

Alison said, “I am excited to be a part of the KTP project with UWE and Dycem. It gives me the chance to utilise the design and print skills I gained from my degree to have a direct and positive impact within a commercial environment. It is a great scheme for all parties involved and I look forward to the challenges it will bring.”

This Partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme (KTP). KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. KTP is funded by the Technology Strategy Board along with the other government funding organisations.

For more information on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships visit http://www.ktponline.org.uk

For more information on Dycem visit http://www.dycem.com



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