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Awards for business partnerships, Essex ranked first for knowledge transfer in South of England

  • Date

    Thu 29 Nov 18

Companies from across London and the South East received awards at a special event organised by Essex to celebrate successful partnerships with business.

Filament AI and Profusion, both London based artificial intelligence specialists were amongst those recognised at Wivenhoe House on our Colchester Campus.

The event marked Essex being in the top five in the UK for developing technology-driven business partnerships. The latest figures from the government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK (part of UKRI) confirm we are the leading university in London and the south of England for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).

Companies attending included leading global businesses such as BT, Ocado Technology and Leonardo alongside technology-driven SMEs like Above Surveying, Objective IT and Profusion plus key stakeholders from Innovate UK.

Awards were presented to individuals and teams involved in successful KTPs – which bring together companies and Essex academics with talented researchers working within businesses as KTP associates to develop and implement innovative solutions.

Winners were chosen by a panel within the Research and Enterprise Office and were scored on their achievements of innovation and commercial impact.

Robert Walker, Head of Business Engagement at Essex, said: “Essex researchers are now working on an incredible 30 KTP projects, the team at Essex has managed to triple the number of business partnerships in the last two and a half years. This puts us in the top five in the UK – we hope to reach the top three in the next year.”

“Working with Essex de-risks innovation and opens up a raft of additional opportunities for businesses such as other funding streams and incubation space.”
Robert Walker Head of Business Engagement at University of Essex

Data scientist Antonio Campello, from Filament.AI, who are London based experts in applied artificial intelligence, was named Best KTP Associate for his work leading the development of a prototype image annotation tool for the company that uses advances in image processing.

Profusion, based in London, was announced as the KTP Partnership of the Year with the soon-to-be released ‘AI Marketer: Smarter Targeting’ product that is set to create an entirely new revenue stream for the company and offer a service ideally suited for the charity sector and marketers.

Profusion’s Head of Data Science, Henrik Nordmark, said: “I would love to encourage SMEs to explore Innovate UK funding and particularly Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Essex has provided an entire academic team who have helped us bring something new into our organisation, along with expertise we previously found difficult to access.”

The award for Best KTP Academic went to both Professor Hani Hagras and Dr Adrian Clark from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering for their work on multiple projects but most notably their work on a KTP with Leonardo. In partnership with the KTP Associate Dr Louis Clift they have developed a novel Computationally Intelligent camera that can detect human behaviour.

This technology has the potential to change the way CCTV is monitored in control rooms by operators and is now influencing care settings with its ability to predict when an elderly person is in need of assistance.

KTPs are part of Innovate UK’s 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.

Check out the event photos on Flickr.