Celebrating our sector-leading number of partnerships

  • Date

    Thu 14 Dec 17

We've celebrated being in the top five in the UK for developing technology-driven business partnerships with a special event attended by innovative companies that we work with from across Essex, Suffolk and London.

The event, held at Wivenhoe House Hotel at our Colchester Campus coincided with the latest figures from UK innovation agency Innovate UK confirming Essex as the leading university in the East of England and London for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).

Companies attending included leading global businesses such as BT, Fläkt Woods, LPA Connection Systems and Leonardo alongside technology-driven SMEs like Above Surveying, Objective IT, Profusion and Aber Electronics.

The evening saw awards presented to individuals and teams involved in successful KTPs – which bring together companies and university researchers with talented graduates working within businesses as KTP associates to develop and implement innovative solutions.

“Our KTP with the University has enabled us to enter a market that we were previously unable to penetrate.”
Simon Chapman R&D Director,Fläkt Woods Ltd 

Data scientist Bob Komara, based at software developer Objective IT in Chelmsford, was named Best KTP Associate. 

Fläkt Woods Ltd, based in Colchester, was announced as KTP Partnership of the year with the soon-to-be released EC fan developed as part of their project with Essex forecast to help the company break into a new sector and generate substantial additional profits in the coming years.

Fläkt Woods Ltd R&D Director, Simon Chapman, said: “Our KTP with the University has enabled us to enter a market that we were previously unable to penetrate.” 

The award for Best KTP Academic went to Dr Spyros Samothrakis from our School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering for his work on multiple projects but most notably artificial intelligence (AI). Dr Samothrakis is helping to apply AI in projects ranging from financial technology and healthcare to marketing.

KTP Manager at Essex, Rob Walker, said “‘Innovative businesses work extremely hard day in, day out trying to develop new services, products and solutions to make a positive impact on our society. Our Winter Celebration is a chance to bring these businesses together, take stock and celebrate successes.”

“Essex researchers are now working on an incredible 23 KTP projects and we hope to reach the top three for number of KTPs in the UK next year.”

KTPs are part of Innovate UK’s world-leading flagship programme designed to help businesses to innovate by connecting them to the UK's wealth of academic resources. They develop a partnership between the business seeking expertise, a university and a high performing graduate - known as the Associate - who base themselves full-time at the company. A project can last between 12 and 36 months and is part-funded by a grant from Innovate UK.