SAFER INKS WIN TOP NATIONAL AWARD

Issue date: 05 December 2003


ISSUE DATE: 05/12/03

User-friendly artists’ inks – developed in partnership between the University of the West of England and Cwmbran based ink manufacturer Cranfield Colours – have just been rated one of the best knowledge transfer programmes in the country. Team members from the company and UWE’s Centre for Fine Print Research will receive their award at a ceremony at the Department of Trade and Industry in London on 9 December.

The award-winning programme is one of the seven top schemes in England and Northern Ireland – and now stands a chance of scooping one of four further awards including best overall programme.

During the two year programme, a new range of inks – including the Safewash ink, based on traditional ingredients that can be cleaned with soap and water rather than harmful volatile compounds – were designed to meet both the needs of artists and upcoming environmental legislation. Associate Angela Brown developed scientific ink testing methods for characteristics such as viscosity, enlarged the product range and expanded overseas sales under the guidance of University academic supervisors.

Angela’s programme was given top rating under the government’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme, which was set up to encourage the transfer of the latest research from Universities into the market-place. She has now been taken on fulltime by the company as their Artists’ Products Manager.

Managing Director Michael Craine praised the link with UWE, saying it provided an ideal opportunity for a specialist company like his to tap into the skills of a large University research centre.

”The programme was revolutionary in that it linked a chemical company with UWE’s Faculty of Art, Media and Design, and allowed us to become an integral part of the printmaking world rather than merely a distant supplier.”

Paul Gough, Dean of UWE’s Faculty of Art, Media and Design, described the DTI honour as “a recognition of the unique nature of the work carried out by the Centre for Fine Print Research and their skills in applying research outcomes for business.”

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

1. The award winning partnership is also in line to win one of four further overall awards: Best TCS Programme, Best Application of Social or Management Science, Best Application of Knowledge and for Engineering Excellence.
2. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships were formerly known as Teaching Company Schemes. These government-supported partnerships are three-way links between a company, a University and a recent graduate to work on a project of strategic importance to the company. For more information on KTP, contact Clare Rowson, KTP Office Manager, on 0117 32 83676 or email: clare.rowson@uwe.ac.uk
3. Other significant developments made during the programme included the development of a specific ink crucial to the development of collotype, a C19th printing technique that has been revived by UWE for use with digital printers to achieve unrivalled depth of tone and permanence.

A second KTP programme, linking UWE and Motorola, the Swindon-based telecoms giant, was also highly-rated by the DTI.

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