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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

If your business is working on a project that would benefit from a new way of thinking, we could have the solution for you.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships support businesses wishing to make a strategic change requiring expertise not currently available in-house. By participating in a KTP, businesses collaborate with the University to improve competitiveness, productivity and performance. 

KTP partner companies typically report an increase in profits before tax of over £240,000 and generate at least two new posts plus new skills for existing staff

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at Northumbria University from Northumbria University on Vimeo.


Age UK

Age UkKnowledge Transfer Partnership

  • Northumbria School of Design
  • Charity

Double Accolades For Northumbria Partnerships 6Thdec2013 275X200The partnership between Northumbria, Age UK Newcastle and KTP Associate Laura Warwick, using Service Design to change the culture and service delivery of Age UK Newcastle, was chosen by the UK Research Councils to receive the RCUK Knowledge Base Impact Award.

The Age UK Newcastle partnership was awarded for implementing design principles to place the end user at the heart of service delivery. During the three year project Laura’s input has helped to position Age UK Newcastle as a leader in terms of innovation among its peer organisations within the national Age UK federation. Service Design learning is now an integral part of the federation’s eight key strategies, guiding all 330 partner organisations.

The innovations developed through the KTP project have seen Age UK Newcastle double its share of the ‘care at home’ market and implement a new Telephone Neighbourhood Service for older people.

Throughout the partnership, associates are supported by Northumbria academics. Laura has been supervised by Matthew Lievesley, Reader in Human Centred Problem Solving, and Mark Bailey from the Department of Design.

Lucy Winskell, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Engagement at Northumbria University, said: “Partnership working plays a key role in Northumbria’s continued success." Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are viewed by many as ‘best kept secrets’ as they are one of the most effective forms of knowledge exchange and innovation that yield results on a company’s bottom line, yet not many organisations are aware of them. “To see this work being rolled out across the region and the UK is something that we can all be incredibly proud of.”

“The KTP is working for us on many levels and supporting and driving strategic service development, innovation and grass roots change very effectively.”

Fran O’Brien, Deputy Chief Executive, Age UK

Renown Engineering

Knowledge Transfer Partnership

  • Business & Law
  • Engineering & Environment
  • SME

Renown EngineeringRenown Engineering has recently completed two high successful KTPs (Knowledge Transfer Partnerships) projects with Northumbria, one to implement a business and marketing strategy, and the other to introduce a New Product Development capability. Northumbria graduates Ben Moore and Jack McCusker have helped Renown to re-invent itself as a high-tech, value-added company with its own products and brands, prepared to fully exploit future opportunities.

Both KTPs have been rated as 'outstanding' by the Technology Strategy Board, an accolade that less than 15% of KTPs nationwide achieve, and both KTP Associates are now employed by the company, a testament to the effectiveness of the scheme.

"Since the KTPs started, our sales have risen from £11m to £15m and profits have also increased. The KTP relationship has been a great success for all involved. Academic knowledge and research have been helpful in our strategic thinking and planning, and the KTP continues to deliver tangible benefits to the growth of the business."

John Hamilton, Managing Director, Renown Engineering

Click the image to download case study PDF.

370096LB Case Study Renown








Read more about our Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Renown Engineering.

Solar Capture Technologies: Northumbria Research shines light on solar technology

Caption:Solar Capture TechnologiesKnowledge Transfer Partnership

  • Northumbria School of Design
  • SME

Northumbria University, Newcastle has joined forces with Blyth-based Solar Capture Technologies to develop new concepts for using energy from sunlight.

The project, which is part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) designed to bring together the best academic minds with industry, has created a graduate employment opportunity that was successfully secured by 23 year-old Pete Hunt.

"I've been given this fantastic opportunity to work with the Solar Capture Technologies team and experts from Northumbria University's Design School on developing product designs to fully exploit this truly sustainable energy source."

KTPs are intended to facilitate the transfer of knowledge through projects undertaken by high calibre, recently qualified graduates. The graduate, or KTP Associate, will work under joint supervision from a company and an academic institution – in this case Solar Capture Technologies and Northumbria University respectively. Funded by government agency, the Technology Strategy Board, KTPs also provide the participating graduate with the opportunity to take their first career steps.

Solar Capture Technologies specialises in the research, development and production of photovoltaic systems, harnessing sunlight to provide sustainable energy for a range of end-uses. Under the KTP, Pete, a recently qualified Product Designer, will work with the Solar Capture Technologies team and its photovoltaic technology.

"This technology lends itself to so many applications but the challenge facing the industry is in harnessing the energy in a manner which enables it to be deployed on a commercial scale," explained Pete.

"I've been given this fantastic opportunity to work with the Solar Capture Technologies team and experts from Northumbria University's Design School on developing product designs to fully exploit this truly sustainable energy source." "Having captured the energy from sunlight, the next challenge is in transferring it to a power source such as a rechargeable battery."

Chief Executive Steve Caseley is delighted to have Pete working with his team, commenting: "Having captured the energy from sunlight, the next challenge is in transferring it to a power source such as a rechargeable battery. With Pete's help and under the guidance of the University's Design School, we are looking at product designs that maximise efficiency while at the same time are robust and attractive to customers."

Pete, who graduated with a 2:1 degree from London's Brunel University, will start his work at Solar Capture Technologies by looking at potential applications in the transport sector.

"Solar technology is an ideal energy solution for road and rail track signage and remote telecommunications equipment," he said. "However the technology needs to be available in a form that can withstand all weathers and the usual wear and tear. It's a great piece of work for me to get started on and I'm really excited by the potential of the project." Matthew Lievesley, Reader at Northumbria University said: "Design at Northumbria is well known particularly through our international Alumni, but we also work with many of the great organisations we find here in our own region. In our partnership with Solar Capture Technologies we will be helping to establish design as a key function in the company as well as developing new product ranges for specific markets."

Dr Stuart English, specialist in design-led innovation and part of the University team supporting the project said: "When we think about Design we are often thinking in terms of well designed products or clothing or promotional literature, but Design is really a process for creating and testing ideas that don't exist yet. It helps organisations to be original, to innovate new value and set themselves apart from their competitors."

Through the KTP partnership, Pete, who is originally from Manchester but now lives in Blyth, will work with Solar Capture Technologies for 21 months.

North Tyneside Council, North Tyneside Living and Northumbria University: Progressing from Reactive to Preventative modes of housing, health and adult social care delivery

  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  • Project Type: KTP

North Tyneside Council has partnered Northumbria University in three Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) since 2008, all of which have had a positive impact on the lives of sheltered housing residents in the area. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership is a UK-wide government programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills residing in UK Universities.

The most recent award winning KTP (UK Housing 2014 Awards - Innovation of the Year) was focussed on developing an innovative service jointly provided by housing, health and adult social care functions. The relationship continues, with a new post jointly funded and managed making a real contribution to the nationally important issue of care for our ageing population.

Through this KTP the Council’s tenants have been actively involved in a new and innovative approach having a central role in helping identify new services and develop existing ones. To date the results have led to the development of nutritional support for healthy eating, direct access to specialist nurses and multidisciplinary teams, and development of dementia friendly environments.

By transforming sheltered housing services from being reactive to establishing a preventative and enabling mode of delivery, operating company North Tyneside Homes has helped enable tenants to age-in-place which reduces housing voids and improves rental incomes.

The cultural and transformative change in the Council workforce saw significant improvements in effective working practices with other services to promote tenants’ wellbeing and support independent living. Tenants are delighted with the improved service and enhanced quality of their lives. Substantial cost savings have been attained.

Christine McMillan, Service Manager, North Tyneside Quality Homes says:

“What we have come to expect from sheltered housing in the UK is a reactive service, and what we are moving towards in North Tyneside is a service that is proactive and focuses on assisting older people to lead healthier and more active lives. We are consulting widely with our clients and putting their aspirations for living fulfilling later lives at the core of our service development,

The KTP ran from 2012 to 2015. It involved Dr Joanne Rose, the KTP Associate, working directly with Council housing officers, with the 1,000+ older tenants in sheltered housing and with a variety of different public and voluntary agencies, such as the NHS and Age Concern. The approach used was based on the principles of involvement of older people in policy and service decision-making, developed from research conducted at Northumbria University by Professors Jan Reed and Glenda Cook in the early 2000s. Many of the principles identified by Reed and Cook such as grassroots involvement in key service planning decisions are now widely accepted in the care industry.

Click the image to download case study PDF.

370096LB Case Study NTC








Parker domnick hunter: identifying cost savings, reducing new product to market lead times and innovation development in a global engineering and manufacturing business.

  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
  • Newcastle Business School, Faculty of Business and Law
  • School of Design, Faculty of Arts, Design and Socials Sciences

An innovative project involving both the School of Design and Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University is helping to drive down cost, accelerate market opportunities and spark innovation for engineering and manufacturing business Parker domnick hunter.

Strategic Marketing Associate Ellie Jones, from Newcastle Business School, and Industrial Designer Callum Whitehead, from Northumbria Design School, are collaborating on a two-year full-time placement with the Gateshead company. Their work is part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), where university academics work directly with industry by becoming part of the business. Set up last year it is proving highly successful, with a number of innovations from Ellie and Callum being given the go-ahead and progressing to development stage.Parker Domnick Hunter

The partnership has also been praised by Government KTP funding advisor John Clayton, as an “impressive example of collaboration”.

Parker domnick hunter is a subsidiary of US-based global engineering group Parker Hannifin. It specialises in the design and manufacture of high quality compressed air and gas treatment and gas generation products, for a wide range of applications across the world.

Ellie said: “Parker domnick hunter is a traditionally engineering-led operation, whereby they have strong capabilities to make things, which they will then try and sell. Our brief is to help them become more market-driven, or customer-centric, so that their engineering strengths are better aligned to what customers actually want. It’s about having disciplined and measurable market research and testing critical assumptions when deciding, for example, whether to invest in developing a new product concept or idea.

“Because I work closely with Callum in cross-faculty approach we can show that the most cost effective and profitable way of taking new products to market is when design and marketing complement each other by working together. By increasing flexibility in the process we have also shown the time taken from concept to develop stage can be significantly reduced from around six to 12 months to just six to 12 weeks. The positive impact of this can be huge.

Fraser McLeay, Professor of Strategic Marketing Management at Newcastle Business School, added: “Our KTP is an innovative project involving both the School of Design and Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University which combines service design and marketing to develop customer centric innovation. As a result, we are developing new marketing systems and processes that are helping us to identify opportunities for organic growth. The next stage of the KTP will help us transform the way in which we use existing data to optimise business performance and develop a dashboard focusing on new market opportunities which will increase international sales and profitability”

Neil McPherson, CAGT Platform Marketing Manager, said: “As a result of our KTP with Northumbria we are developing new marketing systems and processes to identify opportunities for organic growth. It will help us transform the way in which we use existing data to optimise business performance and develop a dashboard focusing on new market opportunities which will increase international sales and profitability.”

Matthew Lievesley, Reader in Human Centred Problem Solving at Northumbria Design School, said: “Defining strengths of this KTP include the combined cross faculty knowledge it brings, and a clear focus on helping Parker domnick hunter deliver on its ambitions and capacity for innovation. This is turn is raising the reputation and profile of the UK operation within the wider global Parker organisation. It’s a successful and compelling story about the benefits of KTPs, and I believe will ensure Northumbria’s relationship with Parker domnick hunter will continue and grow in the coming years.”

KTPs are part Government-funded programmes designed to encourage collaboration between businesses and UK universities. To find out more about opportunities with Northumbria please visit 


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