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Researcher named as a Business Leader of Tomorrow

Orla Kelly with MP Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise

Orla Kelly with MP Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise at the awards ceremony

Press release issued: 16 December 2013

Dr Orla Kelly, a Design Engineer at East Sussex-based company Photek, has won a prestigious award at this year's Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Awards for her work designing novel ion optics for velocity map imaging (VMI) spectrometers used in physical chemistry and laser physics experiments.

The work was carried out in partnership with the group of Professor Mike Ashfold in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol as part of a KTP project which resulted in the first VMI instrument being commercially available to the international research market.

The annual KTP Awards are run by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, to honour the best KTPs in the UK.  Orla was presented with a Business Leader of Tomorrow Award which recognises the talents and hard work of people with the potential to become the next big business leader.

KTP is a UK-wide programme, organised by the Technology Strategy Board along with 12 other public sector partners.  The programme offers the opportunity for three partners – a business, UK university or college partner, and a recently qualified graduate to work collaboratively to develop a business opportunity or innovative idea.  Knowledge Transfer Partnerships allow ideas to be shared more easily between UK businesses and academic institutions.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said: "Once again we have been inundated with entries for the KTP Awards 2013, which really do showcase the outstanding and innovative collaborations which have taken place right here in the UK.  Having seen Orla’s excellent work in delivering innovation as part of a KTP, we have named her as one of five winners at this year’s Business Leader of Tomorrow award.  We hope to see her delivering even more excellent innovations in the near future."

Gareth Jones, Photek's Managing Director said: "The work Orla has achieved has created opportunities for revenue streams in new markets and will strengthen the position of Photek in related technology sectors.  I congratulate her on the successful conclusion of the VMI instrument KTP and warmly welcome her to the company."

Dr Orla Kelly said: "I am delighted to have won the Business Leader of Tomorrow award.  The opportunities I have had through the KTP have been excellent.  We’ve produced some great innovations for the benefit of Photek and the wider industry.  It’s been brilliant working with Photek and the University of Bristol, and this award is testament to all the hard work and time that I and all of my colleagues have devoted to this project."

To find out more information please visit KTP online.

Further information

About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led UK government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy.