SOUTH-WEST BUSINESSES BENEFIT FROM LINKS WITH UNIVERSITIES

Issue date: 31 July 2003


ISSUE DATE: 31/07/03

Employers in the South-West can now benefit from a new government-backed scheme to enable expert solutions to be found for real business problems.

The new scheme sets up a three-way link between companies with a specific technical or business challenge, a recent graduate, and a University to provide the latest applied research input. Entitled Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, the initiative builds on the success of its predecessor TCS (Teaching Company Scheme), which has provided increases in sales and profitability.

“The new Knowledge Transfer Partnerships will provide companies with up to 60% of the project costs including employing a graduate for a period of up to three years,” said Dr Barry Twite, Regional Consultant for TTI (Technology Transfer and Innovation Ltd). TTI runs the scheme on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry.

“ In addition to the financial benefit, the company has the chance to work closely with a team of experts. The graduate wins too, as they are undertaking a project of strategic importance with the possibility of gaining further qualifications in management or business.”

Businesses in the South-West can receive wide-ranging assistance from Universities in areas including:

- Improving the design of existing products
- Developing new products
- Developing a marketing strategy
- Streamlining manufacturing or logistics
- Environmental solutions

In the case of the University of the West of England, Bristol, continuing links have been created with a wide range of companies. These include telecoms giant Motorola UK, water treatment plant designers Hydro International and specialist ink makers Cranfield Colours Ltd.

Motorola
This flagship programme links Motorola’s European Cellular Infrastructure Division with UWE’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and the University of Sussex to provide access to the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques. A team of software professionals is working with key suppliers on the fourth generation of mobile phone networks for use in the next few years.

Hydro International
This company builds innovative storm and wastewater treatment installations. UWE’s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences assisted with streamlining its computer-aided design process. Each installation is custom-made, and complex calculations from previous designs can now be taken into account, shortening lead-times and reducing costs. A second programme is currently under way to implement the company’s group marketing strategy.

Cranfield Colours Ltd
Artists can now choose environmentally friendly materials thanks to a link between ink manufacturer Cranfield Colours Ltd and UWE’s Faculty of Art, Media and Design. UWE’s input led to greater understanding of artists’ requirements and resulted in ink formulation and testing methods better tailored to the fine-art printmaking market. A new range of water washable oil-based inks is being launched, which can be cleaned with soap and water instead of harmful solvents.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

For further information on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at the University of the West of England, contact Clare Rowson, Knowledge Transfer Partnership Office, Business Interface Team, University of the West of England, email: clare.rowson@uwe.ac.uk tel: 0117 344 3676.

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