Leading UK innovation figures gathered at University of the West of Scotland (UWS) to further develop links between academia and industry.
The first in-person National Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associates’ Conference since 2019 recently took place at UWS’s Paisley campus.
The two-day conference – a highlight in the KTP calendar – from 57 universities and a range of organisations across the UK, participate in a packed agenda.
Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Vice-Principal of Research, Innovation and Engagement at UWS, said: “UWS was the first university in Scotland to create a dedicated KTP Centre: it was therefore fitting that, a mere four years since the inception of our award-winning Centre, we welcomed KTP associates from across the UK and beyond, to collaborate, learn and celebrate our collective achievements.”
Conference speakers included UK basketball royalty, Kieron Achara. Kieron, who shared motivational insights from his inspirational life story, recently received an MBE for services to community sport after being named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2020.
Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Vice-Principal of Research, Innovation and Engagement said:
“UWS was the first university in Scotland to create a dedicated KTP Centre: it is therefore fitting that, a mere four years since the inception of our award-winning Centre, we welcomed KTP associates from across the UK and beyond, to collaborate, learn and celebrate our collective achievements.”
Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK – the UK’s national innovation agency – also addressed delegates. Indro has a hugely successful career, leading innovation and technology commercialisation in businesses of all sizes across the world, from publicly listed and multinational corporations to new venture and private equity backed technology companies. Indo has extensive experience of leading fast-growth start-up and spinout companies.
Despite the many challenges presented over the last two years, the UK’s KTP programme continues to go from strength-to-strength. Approaching its 50th year, the programme is the longest such initiative in the world, consistently delivering innovation and growth.
KTPs are a shining example of what can be achieved when industry and academia join forces; demonstrating the relevance of research activities to, and applicability in, world-leading industries and businesses.
Dr Stuart McKay, Senior KTP Manager at UWS, said:
“Dream, believe, achieve, was the theme. We have hopefully inspired delegates to dream, highlighted the power of believing in yourself, and given them the tools and techniques to help them achieve – both in their KTP projects and future careers”.
KTPs are a flagship programme from Innovate UK and form a collaboration between a business, an academic institution, and a graduate. The graduate is employed by the academic institution as a ‘KTP Associate’ who works full-time at the business involved, under the guidance of an expert academic team. This three-way partnership forges strong ties between industry and academia and helps to deliver solutions to real-world problems.