Businesses which are pushing boundaries and innovating to break into new markets won awards at the University of Essex’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Winter Celebration.
Innovate UK’s flagship programme, KTPs connect companies and social enterprises with university researchers, cutting-edge technology and graduate talent at UK universities.
The University of Essex has been incredibly successful in forging links with business and has the third biggest KTP portfolio in the UK with 35 KTPs across eight academic departments worth a total of £8 million.
University of Essex Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “This is our opportunity to recognise the exceptional hard work, creativity and dedication shown by everyone involved in the KTP programme by highlighting some of our exemplar projects and partners.”
The Winter Celebration is in its fourth year and was attended by 140 representatives from businesses, Innovate UK, external organisations and the University. Hosted by Wivenhoe House Hotel at the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus the event saw awards presented to individuals and teams involved in successful KTPs with the keynote speech given by Essex alumnus Nick Chrissos, Cisco’s Director of Innovation for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia.
Winner of Best KTP Partnership: SME was Mondaq, based at the Innovation Centre on the University of Essex’s Knowledge Gateway research and technology park. Their first KTP with the University and the Institute for Analytics and Data Science was so successful in driving up engagement on their online legal and professional services platform that they’ve successfully secured approval from Innovate UK for a second KTP.
Andrew Partridge, co-founder and director at Mondaq, said: “The KTP concept was a perfect fit for a company like us. The outcome has been fantastic. The website has grown 146% over the period and our revenues have gone up over 50%.
“Most importantly it has worked culturally, it has changed the way Mondaq is. All of that makes Mondaq a better proposition to shareholders, investors and customers.”
Winner of Best KTP Partnership: Large Company is Preqin, the London-based international firm which is changing the landscape in alternative assets using the very latest data science techniques. Their KTP Associate, an Essex graduate, is connecting Preqin to experts in the Institute for Analytics and Data Science to produce positive results for the company. This project is proving so successful Preqin is embarking on a second KTP with Essex.
A new category, the Lasting Impact Award, was presented to London-based Signal AI and Visiting Professor in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering Professor Udo Kruschwitz.
The KTP partnership with Essex was a key part of the Signal AI’s journey in transforming itself from a start-up with two employees to a 150-strong organisation trading across seven continents, with 100s of clients. The KTP Associate from this company’s first KTP Miguel Martinez is one of the Co-Founders and has been instrumental in the company’s growth.
They have led the charge in developing and commercialising an AI-driven text analytics solution for media monitoring, reputation management and market intelligence and have recently started a second KTP with Essex. This partnership enabled the company and academic teams to take the latest techniques in text analytics and Natural Language Processing and apply them to a business challenge for real commercial impact.
Dr Faiyaz Doctor from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering won the award for Best Academic Partner. Dr Doctor is a leader in the field of computational intelligence and he was praised for his “tireless dedication” to supporting KTP Associates in delivering real research impact to partner companies including Cloudfm in Colchester and London-based companies Hub TV and Firza.
Sathish Sankarpandi was named as Best KTP Associate for his incredible impact on his company through his KTP journey at Orbital Media in Suffolk. Not only has Sathish been involved in developing patent-pending, world-leading technology, he has also been instrumental in securing funding for a spin-out company and at the project close has been retained as the company’s Head of Data Science.
Head of Business Engagement, Robert Walker said: “We are transforming more and more businesses by connecting them to the incredible academics at the University of Essex plus bringing in fresh, talented researchers who are being embedded in companies to deliver innovation and impact.”
“Every day we see how our projects transform companies by applying and embedding the latest world-leading research into new products and services. We are helping UK companies gain competitive advantage and develop new USPs across areas such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and advanced communications.”