Knowledge Transfer Partnership with VQ Communications Graded Outstanding

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A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with VQ Communications has been graded Outstanding by Innovate UK.

The two year project aimed to embed knowledge of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to determine how ML/AI can be applied to VQ Communications complex systems to reduce support costs, boost engineering productivity and enable deployment of larger networks at lower cost and higher levels of service.

Mike Horsley, VQ Communications CEO commented: “It is very pleasing to see the investment made and the hard work, expertise and tenacity that the UWE/VQ team placed into this KTP being recognized in this manner.

VQ continues to invest in the AI/ML technology developed during the KTP and we are getting extremely encouraging results. The team has expanded to include an additional software engineer and we continue to work with the UWE team via a professional services agreement.

Advanced technology is difficult; it requires expertise and managed risk-taking. The KTP program enabled VQ to master a new technology and we are very excited about how the resulting new products and services will help our customers solve the problems they face and, by doing so, will enable VQ to further extend its market leadership and demonstrate continuing growth”.

Lead academic Professor Jim Smith, Professor in Interactive Artificial Intelligence, commented: “The partnership has been a fantastic opportunity to develop AI-based solutions together with a company, and the area: (improving video communication tools) couldn’t have been more topical during the pandemic.”

Based in Chippenham, VQ Communications produces software that allows customers to deploy and manage large video conferencing (also known as “Unified Communications”) services. VQ has established a leading market position over the last 15 years and VQ’s current product generation works with Cisco’s Meeting Server products and is being used by customers world-wide to deliver enterprise wide conferencing. VQ is a Cisco Solution Partner with Cisco recommending and selling VQ’s product.

UWE Bristol and VQ communications plan to continue their relationship together and have recently signed contracts to develop their work on the technology further.

View the VQ Communications case study here.

The KTP scheme is a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve competitiveness and productivity. With the help of graduate talent and access to UWE Bristol academic expertise, a KTP can help your business to transform and solve problems to achieve goals.

To find out more about KTPs please visit our website.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership company Flexys signs multi-year deal with Bamboo

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One of our Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) companies, Flexys signs multi-year deal with personal loans provider, Bamboo.

Flexys provides modular, highly scalable and extensible debt management, collection and recovery solutions for the digital age. Their cloud-native solutions maximise operational efficiency, reduce the cost to collect and ensure that they deliver the best possible customer service while protecting your business from reputational and regulatory risk.

Flexys Solutions is based at the Future Space Innovation Hub, part of our University Enterprise Zone and employs over 20 people, most of whom are working from home for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Flexys has experienced a period of significant growth this year as lockdown fuels a surge in digital engagement and a move to cloud-native technology.

Bamboo are a direct lender who have built their business around helping people find an affordable loan that fits your credit situation.

Flexys CEO, Jon Hickman said “We are very proud to have secured this multi-year partnership with Bamboo. The economic consequences of the pandemic have put debt management in the spotlight and we have seen a surge in demand for our smart, cloud-native systems. Every new client helps us to expand our business and to promote Bristol as the ideal location for innovative technology businesses.”

Our KTP with Flexys aims to integrate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology within debt resolution software, to enable more effective management of debt resolution and improvement of customer relationships and retention.

A KTP scheme is a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve competitiveness and productivity. With the help of graduate talent and access to UWE Bristol academic expertise, a KTP can help your business to transform and solve problems to achieve goals.

To find out more about KTPs please visit our website.

A History of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at UWE Bristol

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At UWE Bristol we have been running Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) for nearly 40 years.

The KTP scheme is a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve competitiveness and productivity.

The above graphics show some statistics from our years delivering KTPs including total live project value across our faculties and project by sector.

Chris Simons, Senior Lecturer Computer Science and Creative Technologies at UWE Bristol, comments on his experience as a KTP Academic S

Find out more about a KTP with UWE Bristol here.

Transform your business performance with a Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership

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Innovate UK has introduced a new stream to their Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funding, specifically for management-focussed projects. Co-funded by BEIS, the Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership initiative aims to enable transformational improvement within businesses by identifying key, strategic, management-based initiatives to increase business effectiveness.

Innovate UK are targeting SMEs with a desire to grow and expand, and offer 67% of projects costs over two years. UWE Bristol will support you through the application process and in recruiting a high-skilled graduate to work at your business for the duration of the project.

Working alongside the UWE Bristol Business School, your organisation will receive significant management expertise, which could expand business capability, increase productivity and enable lasting change and growth.

Sarah White, UWE Bristol’s KTP Manager commented: “KTPs are a great way for businesses to collaborate with the university to using academic expertise to solve a business problem. Management KTPs enable a business to really focus on their strategic and organisational goals, supported by UWE and a talented graduate to deliver project outcomes.”

Find out about Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships in our short presentation below:

Contact the KTP Office at UWE for more information KTP@uwe.ac.uk  

New Welsh Government initiative to help SMEs based in Wales

Calling all SMEs based in Wales – the Welsh Government will offer a grant rate of 75%, reducing the company contribution to 25% for a KTP. UWE Bristol will support you through the application process and in recruiting a high-skilled graduate to work at your business for the duration of the project. KTPs help businesses improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance through better use of knowledge, technology and skills by developing a partnership with a university, college or Catapult centre. 

Partnerships jointly develop the proposal to address a specific business need and must submit their proposal for assessment between 1st September 2020 and 12 noon on Wednesday 3rd February 2021.  Only applications received during this time will be eligible for this funding.

The partnership can vary in length from one to three years according to the needs of the business.  Businesses from all sectors are welcome to apply.

For more information see here.

KTP Project with Viper Innovations Nominated for KTP Best of the Best Awards 2020

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UWE Bristol’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Viper Innovations (Portishead), which completed in 2018, has been nominated as one of three finalists in the Business Impact category for the KTP Best of the Best Awards 2020. To be considered for the award, an organisation must be able to demonstrate substantial ongoing impact from their KTP beyond the expectations as set out in their Partnership’s original KTP proposal.

The two-year project with Viper, undertaken by KTP Associate Kim Mahoney, identified and directed the market opportunities and priorities of the company as part of their business diversification into new sectors: rail, airports, power and communications. The project was focused specifically on the company’s newly launched CableGuardian™ product. With academic expertise from Tim Hughes (Bristol Business School) and Tracy Hunt-Fraisse (Bristol Business School) the team identified penetrable markets and worked to increase product awareness within them. The learning and outputs from the KTP have formed the basis in scoping Viper’s diversification strategy for its CableGuardian product and services for the next 5 years and the financial impact is set to be very impressive.

Neil Douglas (Director, Viper Innovations) noted “Viper Innovations is absolutely delighted that this KTP has been recognised with this nomination. The success was largely due to the commitment by all parties and the quality and ability of the Academic Supervisor and the KTP Associate, coupled with a highly focussed scope of work that was a key element of the growth strategy of Viper Innovations.” UWE and Viper have continued to collaborate and have since secured funding for a second KTP project, which started in June 2020.

The winner of the award will be announced on 09 September 2020.

UWE Bristol secure Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Harris Evolution

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UWE Bristol Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) team have secured a new KTP with Harris Evolution, increasing the KTP portfolio to 13 live projects. The project will see Harris Evolution work with the UWE Bristol Business School (BBS).

The application, led by Ellen Parkes from UWE Bristol, was funded under Innovate UKs Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (MKTP) scheme, which was announced in 2019 following a £25m pledge in funding over the next three years from BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy).

Based in Kingswood, 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 development 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, Harris will move from a standardised service offer to implementing outcome-based service contracts, tailored around individual customer value.

This partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme. KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. This successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership project, funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK, is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

Find out more about KTP’s at UWE Bristol here .

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships: Powerline Technologies Ltd Associate Spotlight

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Photo: UWE KTP Associate Minh Trang

Based in Bristol, Powerline Technologies Ltd deliver next generation Smart Grid distribution automation solutions to utilities and Distribution Systems/Network Operators (DSO/DNO) worldwide. Since starting in June 2019, the Knowledge Transfer Partnership with UWE Bristol has been working to create a novel simulator of electrical distribution assets for Smart Grid application development.

Minh Trang has been leading the project as the KTP Associate. We spoke to Trang, 9 months into the project to find out how she has found the KTP so far:

How long have you been a KTP Associate?

I started the role in June 2019 so I’ve almost been in the post for a year.

What attracted you to the KTP role?

I came from a PhD and what I liked about the KTP was the possibility of continuing to manage my own project whilst working for a local company with the potential to be employed with the company on completion. The KTP also offers great opportunities for continuing professional development alongside the project via the £4,000 development budget.

How is the partnership between UWE and the company working?

It’s been working really well. I’ve been learning a lot from UWE Power Systems Research Laboratory about algorithms and methods for analysing and driving the project and Powerline Technologies have been supporting me with the practical knowledge for running the project more efficiently.

What are the current challenges of your role?

The challenges have mostly been technical, ensuring the correct application of data, getting used to new software packages and determining the most effective models for the project. However, I have been supported by my company and academic supervisors throughout all of this, which I’m really grateful for.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It would have to be the experience that I’m gaining in managing a challenging, real-life project, which I think is a vitally important skill for my future career plans.

What do you think about the support available from UWE and the Company?

It’s been great, my Academic Supervisor (Hassan Nouri) is really knowledgeable and has deepened my understanding of the field. I also feel really engaged with the team at Powerline and enjoy being part of their working environment.

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.  

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships: Agsenze Associate Spotlight

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(L-R) April Coombes (UWE), Professor Melvyn Smith (UWE), Dr Gytis Bernotas (UWE), Dr Mark Hansen (UWE), Geraint Jones (Innovate UK), James Theobald (Agsenze) pictured at the Agri-EPI Centre in Shepton Mallet.

Since April 2019, UWE have been collaborating on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Agsenze, a company focused on developing smart technology within agriculture. The two-year project intends to realise the functionality of a system for improved dairy herd management using novel animal monitoring technology.

We spoke to Gytis Bernotas, who obtained his BEng and PhD from UWE, and is now leading the project as the KTP Associate.

How long have you been a KTP Associate?

I started in April 2019, so almost a year.

What attracted you to the KTP role?

I was drawn to a KTP because of the opportunity to work with a company and university. It’s a very rewarding setup because you experience state-of-the-art research being immediately realised in real-world scenarios, rather than be hidden in the desk drawer.

How is the partnership between UWE and the company working?

The partnership is working very well. We are circulating the best thoughts and ideas from experts in academia and people from the business world. The company is benefitting from the expertise and novelty, while the university receives publicity and recognition with academic journal publications.

What are the current challenges of your role?

The biggest challenge is time! I’m working for a start-up company trying to establish itself in a market niche in a timely manner.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy the problem solving, but most importantly I really believe in the product and how it will revolutionise cattle welfare and, hopefully, other livestock in the future.

What do you think about the support available from UWE and the Company?

I get great support from the company, my academic supervisors and the UWE KTP Team. The KTP Team are always on hand to provide advice and project support. My supervisors provide opportunities and support to research different ideas that have potential for Agsenze’s business model, such as the developing tool positioning or its hardware alterations.