Knowledge Transfer Partnerships: Harris Evolution LTD Associate Spotlight

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KTP Associate

Mayowa Olanrewaju, our Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) associate for Harris Evolution LTD, recently spoke to KTN about his experiences as a KTP Associate.

Based in Bristol, Harris Evolution is a commercial refurbishment company, specialising in quick turnaround projects carried out whilst the buildings are still in occupation. Harris’ work is targeted within three main sectors; Education, Healthcare and Hotel/Leisure.

The 24-month KTP project aims to implement transformational innovation through an Advanced Services approach to contract design and development of leadership capacity and will be led by Dr Kyle Alves , Dr Mel Smith and Professor Gareth Edwards (BBS). Through the collaboration with UWE Bristol, Harris will move from a standardised service offer to implementing outcome-based service contracts, tailored around individual customer value.

Please provide a short summary of the KTP company and the KTP project objectives?

To move Harris Evolution LTD from standardised offering towards advanced services by implementing outcome-based contracts tailored around individual customers.

What have been the most positive aspects of your role?

I would say the buy-in from the company senior management, they have given me all the support so far and my academic supervisor is always there to guide me anytime I need him. Also, the project objectives align with my own objectives, so it has been exciting working on the project.

What have been the biggest challenges?

Covid-19 has been a big challenge in that I will have to wait for a response when I need to ask questions or set up a meeting with someone which ordinarily, I would have done by walking into the person’s office. Also, trying to communicate what each party will get from this project is a big challenge as stakeholders have their own expectations and I have to make sure their expectations match the project objectives.

Describe a typical day as a KTP Associate?

Hmmm, a typical day. I would say, you check your Gantt chart to monitor project progress and plan what needs to be done for the day. Check and plan whom to have meetings with or attend planned meetings. Research academic journals to see how you can implement them in your project, communicate with your academic supervisor if you have questions.

What training and development have you benefited from as a result of working as a KTP Associate?

I just started the Ashorne trainings and it has been informative so far. The training program will cover basic project management, leadership and communication skills which will be useful in my project. I also plan to get Prince2 agile Certification and specific trainings in Internet of Things (IOT) and technology. My KT adviser has done well so far; he has given hints on how to manage my project efficiently and what is expected from the project. Like I said, it is still early days.

How would you describe the unique experience of working as a KTP Associate?

There has always been this disparity between academics and the business world as they both have unique ways of doing things so having the opportunity to bridge that gap in a partnership is a wonderful opportunity only KTP can give. The business world is now coming to terms with growth and development academics offer and if properly harnessed, businesses can see the benefits in their annual turnovers

Would you recommend the KTP Associate role to other grads/post grads?

In fact, I have so far recommended it to my friends I graduated with and I have been speaking to friends still in grad school about it. The skills and achievements you will get is second to none. It is a good platform to start your career.

Which 3 words best describe your experience of being a KTP Associate?

Transformative, innovative, and informative.

To find out more about the Knowledge Transfer Partnership opportunities at UWE, visit our website

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are funded by UKRI through Innovate UK with the support of co-funders, including the Scottish Funding Council, Welsh Government, Invest Northern Ireland, Defra and BEIS. Innovate UK manages the KTP programme and facilitates its delivery through a range of partners including the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Knowledge Bases and Businesses. Each partner plays a specific role in the support and delivery of the programme.  

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