Roehampton Hosts Funding and Collaboration for Growth event

  • Monday, May 1, 2023

On April 24, the University of Roehampton hosted the Funding & Collaboration for Growth event in collaboration with St George’s University of London, London South Bank University (LSBU), and Kingston University. The event aimed to showcase how businesses can collaborate with universities, with a particular focus on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), to ignite South London's business growth. The event was attended by academics and businesses who had an interest in exploring long-term collaborations and the commercial benefits they could bring.

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Dr Richard Keogh, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and External Engagement) at the University of Roehampton, opened the event, highlighting the university's impressive track record in securing over £10m of competitive grant capture in the last academic year alone. He also emphasised the value of business and universities collaborating to generate a culture of innovation that supports the local and regional economy.

KTPs are a UK-wide programme funded and managed by Innovate UK that have been supporting more than 14,000 businesses for over 45 years, driving innovation and generating positive impacts. They allow businesses to bring in academic expertise to work on a project or challenge, unlocking further growth opportunities. They are open to businesses from all sectors and run for 12 to 36 months. KTPs involve a three-way partnership between a business, an academic, and an associate, a university graduate who works on the project under the supervision of the academic.

Shona Campbell, Innovate UK KTN Knowledge Transfer Adviser, tasked with increasing engagement in South London, highlighted the significant economic value of the KTP programme. For every £1 invested in the KTP Programme, £8 of economic value is delivered. Innovate UK will fund between 50% to 75% of the project, depending on the size and type of organisation. Furthermore, £50m is available to fund KTPs in the next year, making it an excellent opportunity for businesses to ignite their growth.

To illustrate how a KTP works in practice, the event featured a panel consisting of two businesses that are currently undertaking a KTP – Fresh Fitness Foods and Ashtead Engineering – senior academic Professor Deborah Andrews from LSBU, a former KTP Associate Randall Martyr, and Neil Pearce, Head of Commercial Enterprise at LSBU. Nathaniel Hockings, Chief Operating Officer of Fresh Fitness Foods, described their experience of undertaking a KTP with the University of Portsmouth, emphasising the value the KTP associate added to the project.

In conclusion, the Funding & Collaboration for Growth event showcased the potential of KTPs as a powerful tool for businesses to collaborate with universities, driving innovation and growth opportunities that benefit the local and regional economy. Businesses interested in exploring the KTP programme should get involved and take advantage of the scheme to ignite their growth.

Find out more about the KTP programme