Southwest businesses benefit from university links
Press release issued: 1 August 2003
Employers in the South-West can now benefit from a new government-backed scheme that helps to find expert solutions for real business problems.
The new scheme sets up a three-way link between companies with a specific technical or business challenge, a recent graduate, and a University to provide the latest applied research input. Entitled Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, the initiative builds on the success of its predecessor TCS (Teaching Company Scheme), which has provided increases in sales and profitability.
The new Knowledge Transfer Partnerships will provide companies with up to 60% of the project costs including employing a graduate for a period of up to three years, said Dr Barry Twite, Regional Consultant for TTI (Technology Transfer and Innovation Ltd). TTI runs the scheme on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry.
In addition to the financial benefit, the company has the chance to work closely with a team of experts. The graduate wins too, as they are undertaking a project of strategic importance with the possibility of gaining further qualifications in management or business.
Businesses in the South-West can receive assistance from Universities in the following areas:
- Improving the design of existing products
- Developing new products
- Developing a marketing strategy
- Streamlining manufacturing or logistics
In the case of the University of Bristol continuing links have been created with a wide range of companies. These include Riverlynx, an SME, who manufacture spray lances for herbicide delivery to parks, gardens and footpaths. A TCS programme run at the University of Bristol successfully brought the departments of Chemistry and Engineering together to develop a complete product package. As a result of the programme the company now manufactures and sells its own liquid herbicide carrier formulation as well as an improved lance system. The herbicide carrier is superior to the existing products on the market and is specifically formulated for the lance. Together these effects have created a significant product differentiation in the market with potential to gain significant market share. Additionally the work has led to opening up new markets to the company.
Research and Enterprise Development at Bristol University.