Now more than ever, fresh thinking and different ways of solving challenges are needed to help innovation thrive. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme has been helping facilitate this for 45 years, creating collaborations through which research teams and graduates (known as KTP Associates) come together with businesses and organisations to drive innovation.

The programme has brought new discoveries to market, created thousands of graduate jobs and brought innovative solutions to societal problems. Some of the best of these projects feature on the Finalists list of the KTP Best of the Best Awards 2020 and here we provide a round-up of some of the Infrastructure-related projects that have made the shortlist across a range of categories*:

 

New mathematical model for masonry support systems delivers 9000 man-hours in sixty seconds

KTP Associate, Emanuele Scarabino working in a KTP with Masonry Support Systems and Queen’s University Belfast, has helped create a bespoke mathematical model capable of designing masonry support façade systems delivering predicted deflections within 0.1mm with 98% confidence. This incredible accuracy pushed the project beyond any expectations set out in the original plan; the ability to predict physical behaviour with such accuracy has transformed product design with material savings and remarkable improvements in efficiency. The mathematical model, created via this KTP, delivers the output of 9000 man-hours in sixty seconds and eliminates human error. More here.

 

The humble standpipe gets an IoT makeover 

Standard standpipe design has remained largely unchanged for decades, offering limited functionality. Via its KTP with Manchester Metropolitan University and KTP Associate, Dario Chiantello (MSc,  Electrical Engineering), standpipe specialist Aquacheck Engineering wanted to focus on creating a new Internet of Things (IoT) device for water companies – a Smart Standpipe able to provide real-time access to parameters such as water usage, location, flow, pressure and much more. The new device allows the introduction of a new paradigm in which data, devices and water usage are decoupled, yielding to a separable management of data, standpipes, and bills. In all, a new state of the art standpipe has been born. More about this project here.

 

Aerospace manufacturing knowledge transforms design of sustainable drainage systems  

With an aerospace background, KTP Associate Muddasar Anwar is working In partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and construction supplier, FP McCann. His cross-disciplinary thinking has led to the establishment of multi-disciplinary project management teams as standard after he created an innovative Hydro Electric Separator, plus optimisation techniques to develop sustainable drainage systems which mitigate flood risk. More about this project here.

 

Disruptive advancement could contribute to Net Zero in construction sector 

One of the outputs of a current KTP between Platinum Electrical Engineering and Northumbria University is a new Building Additive Manufacturing (BAM) capability which ‘prints’ a complete building structure by autonomously depositing concrete layer by layer. The BAM capability reduces build cost and time, as well as making a significant contribution to net-zero by streamlining the supply chain, reducing construction waste to near-zero, and reducing cement usage by using alternative waste materials from steel and coal industries. More here.

 

Discovery of a new class of more environmentally friendly ionic liquid for incorporation into a coating for masonry and exterior paint – and more.

With an in-depth knowledge of ionic liquids and their chemistry KTP Associate, Mark Gilmore, via his KTP with Kilwaughter Minerals and Queen’s University Belfast has been able to design and synthesise bespoke and novel materials.

He has discovered and developed not just one liquid, but a new class of ionic liquids which are more environmentally friendly and with superior water repellant quality, and can be used not just as a masonry coating, but also have the potential to be transferred into other industries e.g. healthcare, marine coatings and industrial pipework. More here.

 

Diversification of subsea engineering cabling specialist into new sectors: rail, airports, power and communications.

Viper Innovations – an established provider of industry-leading products for integrity monitoring of electrical cabling in subsea oil and gas production – entered a KTP with University of the West of England to exploit the potential of its trademarked CableGuardian™ technology, combining its cable technology insulation monitoring with SSTDR (spread-spectrum time domain reflectometry )enabling users to monitor, predict and identify the location of faults along cables. The result of the project has informed Viper’s diversification strategy and the financial impact looks impressive. More here.

 

Transforming New Product Development for Construction Engineering Specialist, Martec.

A partnership between Martec Engineering and University of Edinburgh has completely transformed the new product development (NPD) process for this specialist supplier of steel goods to the construction industry – secure entry systems, passive fire systems, architectural metalwork and facades. The partnership recruited KTP Associate, Keith Milne, who has a background in architecture, and the outcome of the project has led to significant new business opportunities and contracts via this fresh approach to NPD. More here.

 

Join us to discover the Winners of the KTP Best of the Best Awards who will be announced at an immersive Online Ceremony on Wednesday 9 September, 4-5pm.

You can register for the event here.

 

*In all, there are 33 finalists across six categories in the KTP Best of the Best Awards: Best KTP Partnership, Business Impact Award, Engineering Excellence Award, Best Knowledge Base KTP Team (supported by Praxis Auril), Future Innovator (supported by Ashorne Hill) and – new for 2020 – Societal Impact Award (supported by UKRI). Find out more here.

 

About Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

​Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) aim to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills within the UK knowledge base.

The KTP programme is now complemented by a Management KTP (mKTP), with a specific focus on improving management effectiveness via collaborations with UK Business Schools.

Funding competitions for KTP and mKTP are open throughout the year. Find out more here.

Innovate UK manages the KTP and mKTP programmes and facilitates its delivery through a range of partners including the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Knowledge Bases and Businesses.

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. mKTP is funded by the UK Government department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through Innovate UK.

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