Essex shortlisted for prestigious Innovate UK KTP awards

  • Date

    Tue 12 Sep 23

The Essex KTP support team

The University of Essex has been recognised for its business expertise after it was shortlisted in three categories at the upcoming Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) Awards.

Essex and its partners are in contention for the Future Leaders Award, Best KTP Support Team and Best Management KTP prizes, with the winners being announced during a special awards ceremony on October 18.

Innovate UK runs the awards every year to celebrate the impact KTPs have had on boosting businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

Robert Walker, Head of Business Engagement at Essex, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for multiple KTP awards this year. At Essex, KTPs are one of the most important ways in which we support businesses to innovate, and the team has worked tremendously hard over the last 12 months to maintain and grow the biggest KTP portfolio in the UK. 2022 saw them support various university partners to evolve their KTP offerings and also achieve funding approval for every project Essex submitted - reinforcing their dedication, consistency and strength when delivering KTPs.

“Being recognised for our Management KTP with The Finishing Line and seeing the continued success of KTP Associate Rodolfo Cuan Urquizo as a Future Leader nominee, further highlights how a KTP with Essex can deliver real business impact. Congratulations to everyone shortlisted and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for success in October.”

Best Management KTP | The Finishing Line and Joshua Arrowsmith

Andy and Josh from the Finishing Line

The KTP between Essex and The Finishing Line has resulted in the latter making fundamental changes to its business model, enabling diversification into new markets and expansion of its existing service offerings; acquiring new customers for eCommerce fulfilment, contract packing and warehousing.

The KTP with Essex was set up to primarily grow Finishing Line’s current presence within the eCommerce Fulfilment landscape whilst also encouraging growth in several areas such as innovation, people and automation.

The project has supported The Finishing Line’s transformation into an end-to-end Supply Chain partner for eCommerce and retail brands and has led to a huge shift in the company’s culture, strategic direction, and risk management planning.

Academics supported Joshua Arrowsmith, the KTP Associate, by providing research and expertise in areas such as occupational psychology, change management and employment relations.

Since the launch of the partnership with Essex, The Finishing Line has seen an increase of over £175,000 in annual sales and £55,000 in profits relating to new business, with both expected to continue to rise in the coming years as The Finishing Line moves into a large, modern facility in October this year.

Best KTP Support Team

Over the last 12 months, Essex’s KTP Support Team’s has successfully supported and grown the UK’s biggest KTP portfolio and received funding approval for every project submitted in 2022. Their work with Innovate UK’s KTP Capacity Building Fund has benefitted five other partners.

From one-day process and planning review guidance, to a package of 15 days’ support enveloping everything from supporting event design and execution to bid-writing training, the team has been on hand to provide their expertise to partners.

On an internal basis, the KTP team has expanded its engagement with academics and stakeholders around the University. This has led to new partnerships with the Department of History and the Institute for Public Health and Wellbeing.

Changes to the diversity of messaging in Essex’s advertising has also resulted in a massive increase in interest from the charitable sector, a recent returnee to the KTP ecosystem.

Since launching the new Capacity Building fund-supported marketing approach in February, three new KTPs are being put together, with a further 20 also being explored.

Future Leaders Award | Rodolfo Cuan Urquizo

Rodolfo Cuan Urquizo with an IRS robot

University of Essex KTP Associate Rodolfo Cuan Urquizo, who is a Cognitive Robotics Research Scientist, has helped develop cutting-edge technology which it is hoped will save the food manufacturing industry billions of pounds.

Working in partnership with Industrial Robotic Solutions (IRS), Rodolfo was able to create a 3D-printed grabber which can pick up delicate ingredients such as slices of chicken and bacon and place them inside factory-made sandwiches.

The new tech is also able to distinguish between different ingredients, meaning it is being extended from the sandwich industry to the entire ready and frozen meal industry.

Discover more about the University of Essex’s KTP portfolio and other ways of working with world-leading academics from the University of Essex by visiting: