Helitune and University of Bristol win Best KTP Award

Helitune and University of Bristol win Best KTP Award

22 Nov 2012

The Technology Strategy Board has today announced that Helitune, the University of Bristol and associates Steve Pollard and Richard Hunt are the winners of the Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Award.

Helitune’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Bristol has transformed the company’s standing in the worldwide helicopter maintenance market by offering civil and military operators a cost-effective, more accurate way to minimise damaging helicopter vibration.

The innovation and success is in a novel algorithm which processes in-flight data for rotor track and balancing (RTB) and then generates a set of mechanical adjustments to bring the rotor within acceptable vibration levels.

“The whole management team feel the value of KTP. The culture of the business has changed and it has given us confidence to invest more in R&D, which can only be a good thing,” says Peter Morrish, Technology Manager, Helitune

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships help UK businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by accessing the knowledge, technology and skills that are available within world-class UK universities, colleges and research organisations.

The knowledge sought is embedded into the company through a project undertaken by a recently qualified person (known as the KTP Associate), recruited specifically to work on the business challenge. There are some 800 KTPs across the country, funded by thirteen Government organisations and led by the Technology Strategy Board.  Each Partnership is part-funded by Government, with the balance of costs coming from the company partner.

In 2011/12, for every £1m of Government money invested in the KTPs, 39 new jobs were created, 279 company staff were trained. Additionally,  £1.53m was invested by companies in plant & machinery and company profits increased by £0.48m, plus an anticipated increase in annual profit of £4.79m after project completion.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, who presented today’s KTP Awards said: "The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are an excellent example of how Government investment can boost collaboration between business and the research base. With the right partnership, our brightest minds can address real world problems, drive growth, create jobs and transform UK business."

The Partnerships need to demonstrate benefits to all three involved – the Business partner, the Knowledge Partner, typically a university or college and the Associate, the recently qualified individual recruited specifically to deliver the project.

Academics benefit by gaining a better understanding of what businesses needs to prosper, businesses gain problem solving skills that help boost company revenue, and over 73% of Associates involved are offered permanent employment at the end of their projects.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “In today’s tough economic times, innovative collaboration is needed for UK companies to survive and prosper. Key to this success is our Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, where real return on investment is demonstrated by combining academic and business minds to great effect.”


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Last updated on Thursday 22 November 2012 at 16:23

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