Improve your competitiveness and productivity with expert university support

By Birmingham City University
schedule27th Sep 22

A knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) will expose you to expert academic and high-calibre student/graduate support, as well as university-level technology and skills, to explore new opportunities, develop exciting products and stand out from the crowd. Looking to build a competitive edge? Access key support from Birmingham City University (BCU), who have helped over 100 of our members to upskill and innovate.

Build skills, develop products and enhance your business  

BCU are a Made in the Midlands (MIM) patron and have been helping manufacturing businesses within the MIM community for over a decade. As one of the key founders of the MIM group, they have built long-term and effective partnerships and collaborations with a wide range of MIM members. 

Businesses collaborate with BCU through a variety of programmes and services, with KTPs being a particularly popular option – currently, the University is number one in the region for volume of KTPs currently in progress. 

A KTP allows businesses to learn the latest research and industry developments. It sees the business receive support from both an academic and a graduate/postgraduate (known as a KTP associate), the latter of which will work with the business full time.

Typically lasting between 18 to 36 months, businesses receive full support from BCU throughout the project’s duration. Businesses receive part funding from Innovate UK, with the remaining project costs funded by the business. 

A KTP can provide a host of benefits, namely:

  • New skills to deliver research and development activities, as well as new knowledge and expertise to embed into the business.
  • Increase in revenue and profits through access to new markets, new product development, and increased productivity and processes.
  • Access to strategic guidance from a dedicated team of business specialists, academic expertise, resources and facilities.

“We help MIM members by truly understanding the skills they require from a KTP,” explains Natalie Lewis, Head of Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement at BCU.

“We tend to work with businesses when they have problems that need addressing, we find the ideal candidate to work with them and this usually results in the company gaining real value from the KTP and their skills.”

Award-winning, long-term success and support 

BCU’s KTPs have resulted in national acclaim and recognition for the businesses taking part. The University’s work with SBS Insurance Service – which introduced the company to 3D printing technology – won an Innovate UK KTP Best of the Best Award, as well as the Business Impact accolade at the Knowledge Transfer Network. 

Long-standing MIM member Malthouse Engineering have built a highly rewarding relationship with the University, working with them on five different KTPs, resulting in the long-term employment of several graduates and the acquisition of both new knowledge and technology.

“We chose to work with BCU on KTPs due to their enthusiasm and their openness to suggestions,” says Roy Taylor, Managing Director at Malthouse. 

“It is important when taking on a large project like KTPs that you can be open and honest with your contact, and with BCU you can.”

Access expertise and exciting new facilities 

Working with BCU also enables you to access some of the University’s state-of-the-art facilities, including its new business innovation centre, STEAMhouse.

The five-storey facility, located in Belmont, offers:

  • Dedicated facilities for learning, prototyping, co-working, workshops, events and production space 
  • Shared office space and facilities for startup and small businesses, as well as office space for businesses to rent
  • State-of-the-art production space and workshops, as well as meeting rooms and event space 
  • A large garden roof terrace with a stunning view of Birmingham.

Want to see this amazing new facility for yourselves? Take a tour of the new STEAMhouse facility, as well as network with BCU representatives and MIM members, at our Backing Britain Breakfast Morning on Wednesday 23 November at 9am. 

The event is free to attend, and office space is available after the event for guests to stay and work. 

Interested in finding out more about how a KTP can benefit you? Contact [email protected] 

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