Best KTP Associate
Rodolfo Cuan Urquizo, whose partnership with Industrial Robotic Solutions, based in the University’s Innovation Centre, has helped to develop a 3D printable robotic gripper which can autonomously pick up ingredients on food production lines. The gripper can pick up a range of irregularly-shaped ingredients, potentially delivering a 100-fold reduction in costs, and having the potential to transform food production.
Best Management KTP Associate
Joshua Arrowsmith, who has taken a lead role in changing the culture at his host company in Basildon, The Finishing Line, enabling them to move into new markets and offer new services. By combining strategic awareness with operational know-how, Joshua has helped the company to move into e-commerce.
Best Academic supporting a KTP
Dr Haider Raza is one of the University’s most successful academics when it comes to working with industry on grant-funded projects, securing £3.3 million funding in the four years since he came to Essex. Most projects are focused on Artificial Intelligence in healthcare and data analytics. He has worked on five KTPs, not only ensuring the innovation works commercially, but also identifying highly talented KTP Associates from among his postgraduate students.
Best Partnership (SME)
The partnership with Mersea Homes has developed a smart platform for integrating business processes, enhancing office to site communication, centralising data control and delivering efficient quality control. The outcome will include saving the company thousands of pounds a year in administrative and materials costs, as well as cutting its carbon footprint significantly through reducing transport and printing.
Best Partnership (Large company)
The partnership with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), which has its UK headquarters in Ipswich, has tackled a major challenge: using large data streams to identify and address inefficiencies in the highly complex global shipping industry. As well as uncovering patterns which will inform future decisions, the project has delivered an innovation around customer behaviour prediction which will help the company to better meet customer requirements and increase revenue.
Lasting Impact Award
Above, based on the University’s Knowledge Gateway research park, is an innovative and growing company using the latest technology in the world of drones, robotics and Artificial Intelligence to facilitate remote inspection of solar farms. Essex has already worked on three KTPs with the business, which has also employed several Essex graduates. Above’s ongoing partnership with the University has supported them to secure significant investment and new business as well as helping them to grow into a larger unit on the Knowledge Gateway.
Our Knowledge Transfer Partnerships make a difference
The University of Essex is the leading academic institution in the UK for active Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with 40 active KTPs worth more than £10 million.
Stuart Cock, Managing Director of Mersea Homes, said: “It’s great to be involved with this innovative project and it makes a real difference to our businesses.
“Mersea Homes is a family business, we build about 100 homes a year and have a long track record of doing so. Having the University on our doorstep just seemed like a huge resource for us.
“For me, I think the KTP will be positive on the basis of helping us deliver houses better, but also save us money in the long run as well.”
Joshua Arrowsmith Digital Strategy & Transformation Consultant with Basildon-based The Finishing Line and winner of the Best Management KTP Associate said: “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to be recognised for the work I do. The main purpose of my project is to help The Finishing Line improve their presence and market share within the e-commerce fulfilment landscape. It shows there is always room in business for improvement and change.”
Andy Mead, Managing Director at The Finishing Line said: “What Joshua has done is provide something that is crucial for business, which is momentum to shake things up and make positive changes.”
“I would have no hesitation in recommending a KTP project to other businesses. It’s been absolutely fabulous for us.”
The event featured a keynote speech on The Future of AI Innovation by Unilever’s Global Head of Digital and Partnership, Alberto Prado; and a presentation from Dr Nicola Thorn, CEO of AND Technology Research, about the value of research and development-led partnerships.
Find out more about working with academics at the University of Essex at www.essex.ac.uk/business