Non-KTP Collaborations: WorldCast Live

In the Knowledge Transfer Centre, in addition to Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, a government-funded initiative we are more commonly associated with, we also pride ourselves on non-KTP collaborations, helping bring different people and ideas together for a positive impact.

We work across multiple themes, collaborating with various companies and individuals both within and outside of the University of Reading, continuing to enforce our goal of knowledge exchange. This can be anything from putting someone in touch with the right people, right the way up to full support in the development of a product or service.

One such non-KTP partnership is one we have established with US-based media streaming company, WorldCast Live.

(Left to right: Simon Cutler: Senior Business Relationship Manager at the KTC, Peter Lewis: CEO of WorldCast Live, Jacqueline Benton: Co-Founder/Director of Operations and Planning at WorldCast Live, Ed Cooper: Director at Vital Six, Susan Elliott: Managing Director at Vital Six) 

 

We caught up with Peter Lewis and Jacqueline Benton from WorldCast Live to discuss how working with the KTC and with Reading-based business incubation centre, Innovation Catalyst (https://innovationcatalyst.spaces.nexudus.com/en), has helped them grow their business and build their network.

 

How did you first get in contact with the University of Reading?

I used a search engine to try and found some local help for the business and the University of Reading was one of the first listings. It was both local and had a great reputation, so I got in touch.

 

You’ve worked closely with the KTC in the early stages of contact, can you walk us through the process?

My initial contact resulted in a reply from the KTC almost immediately, soon followed by a meeting in the centre itself. From there, I was given the exact support and guidance I needed for the project to begin developing. They walked me through the entire process from opening a company, identifying and sourcing the support I need, and also pointed me in the direction of Innovation Catalyst.

 

Once you engaged with Innovation Catalyst, how have you benefited from that community, as well as being part of the Barclays Flight Programme?

It has been a fantastic benefit; we were at a point where we were almost fumbling around trying to find out what we needed to do to get a start-up company off the ground, but they were able to guide us and provide invaluable advice to help us move forward. They also connected me with other businesses and Barclays Eagle Lab, which has been so helpful for us not only in advising what we need to do next, but also the pitfalls to avoid. It’s been a really fantastic experience.

 

Being based in New York, what are your global plans for the company moving forward?

What we’ve learned is that working with brands both in the UK and the US exposes you to different ways of working, allowing us to finetune our software, permitting us to be more agile in our approach, and also it means that we can expand faster because we understand the differences in the markets. It has been a great learning experience from beginning to end, and I have journeyed here several times now, learning new things that I am able to pass on to our IT staff which means we can expand into new areas that we wouldn’t have known or thought about should we have not been part of a collaboration.

 

Where does the Academic expertise come in to help with the service you provide as a business?

Because we’re a start-up business, we want to make sure we’re approaching our business plan the right way. We want to ensure we understand the market, we understand the risks, and we understand the technology possibilities and limitations. It also helps us gain an understanding of where does our product fit in the market, how do we compare with competitors, and what do we need to do to grow the business. We have had tremendous support from the university with navigating our way to the next steps.

 

In terms of the relationships you’ve made as a result of working with Innovation Catalyst, are you likely to continue the relationships with the people and businesses you’ve met over the past few months?

Yes it will, and we’ve even made some new business relationships today where we’ve managed to agree other collaborations, so there is a huge benefit to each of these workshops not just with the content and the presentations, but the other attendees.

 

 

You can watch the video of this meeting right here.

If you or your business could benefit from a collaboration with the Knowledge Transfer Centre, contact us today to discuss the many opportunities available to you in more detail.

 

just IMAGINE if…

At the Knowledge Transfer Centre, we firmly believe that people hold the key to resolving some of the world’s most pressing issues with their ideas, a belief communally shared by the entirety of the University of Reading.

We have collaborated with Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley on various successful projects over the years,  helping get Paul’s ideas for healthier baby food off the ground and building a lasting relationship in the process, but now a brand new and exciting partnership has begun; just IMAGINE if…

just IMAGINE if… has one mission: to identify and help develop extraordinary ideas. Companies, partnerships, not-for-profit organisations or individuals with an extraordinary idea that could help alleviate one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals but need research input to help it grow can apply.

As the winner of this competition you will be given a unique opportunity to access bespoke research specifically designed to significantly move your idea forward. We will give you access to the right people, the right research, the right facilities, and up to £75,000 to spend on bringing your idea to life.

This INCREDIBLE competition closes Dec 31st, and all you need to do to apply is outline your idea in no more than 1000 words along with a short pitch. That’s it; all that’s standing between you and winning the opportunity to create a positive global impact is a thousand words and a one minute pitch. Seems to go to be true, right? Wrong…!

Find out more and apply right here. 

New Partnership between University of Reading and Red Whale!

In the Knowledge Transfer Centre at the University of Reading, we are continually looking to collaborate with exciting, innovative, local businesses in order to help create a positive global impact. We are therefore extremely delighted to announce our latest Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Red Whale, a company based right alongside us on the UoR campus. Red Whale are one of the leading providers of primary care medical education in the UK who specialise in producing evidence-based courses relevant to everyday practice, full of action points for delegates to take away and implement.
 
The project will see Red Whale working with three departments at the University of Reading; Computer Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and the Institute of Education, in order to develop  a new medical education delivery method utilising an online platform, all the while meeting Red Whale’s core values of being relevant, challenging and fun.
 
We are extremely excited about our latest KTP and what the future will bring with this exciting partnership.
 
KTP or Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is Europe’s leading programme to help bridge the gap between industry and academia. The initiative helps businesses improve their competitiveness by enabling companies to work with higher education or research and technology organisations to obtain knowledge, technology or skills which they consider to be of strategic competitive importance. The  UK-wide programme is overseen by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, and supported by 16 other public sector funding organisations.
If your business has a product or service that could benefit from a KTP, contact us today to discuss the opportunities available to you in more detail. 

Extra KTP Funding References Success of UoR’s Partnership with Ella’s Kitchen

On November 9th, Innovate UK announced an additional £30million of funding for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs); a government backed scheme which connects businesses across the UK with an academic or research organisation (such as a university), along with a qualified graduate.

There are currently 630 graduates and post-doctoral researchers employed in KTPs branching across industrial research and development and entrepreneurial roles, and the additional funding means this will be able to expand significantly.

The announcement referenced the success story of Ella’s Kitchen; a multi-national baby food company who have had three projects with University of Reading, and maintain an ongoing relationship with the Knowledge Transfer Centre and UoR Academics.

The announcement of additional funding is an extremely exciting one, and even more so with a mention of the successful projects of University of Reading.

The full announcement can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/30-million-for-business-and-graduate-partnerships

 

Yet ANOTHER new member of the KTC family!

We are delighted to announce another new person to join the Knowledge Transfer Centre; Dr Vicki Aldmington. Vicki has a PhD in Fungal genetics and biochemistry from University of St Andrews, and has worked largely in education and outreach in the learned society sector. Most recently Vicki managed FoodWasteNet; a BBSRC Network in Biotechnology and Bioenergy.

Vicki is now our newest Business Relationship Manager and will be jointly responsible for facilitating collaborations between companies and non-profit organisations interested in working with the University of Reading.

We are very excited to experience the expertise Vicki will bring the team, and welcome her to the family!

Another new member of the KTC family!

We are very happy to announce that we have another new team member; Thomas Wildsmith!

Dr Wildsmith gained his Ph.D in materials and inorganic chemistry at the University of Bath, and has since worked for both a large research organisation and a small business where a key role was the development of collaborative research projects.

Thomas has now joined the Knowledge Transfer Centre as a Business Relationship Manager, where his responsibilities will include facilitating collaborations between businesses and organisations interested in working with the University of Reading.

We warmly welcome Thomas, and we’re very excited about the expertise he is bringing to the department!

University of Reading building renamed in honour of Polly Vacher

Formerly known as Systems and Engineering, building 38 located on the University of Reading Whiteknights campus has now been renamed in honour of an aviation enthusiast.

Polly Vacher, a former Masters student in Music Education at Reading , attended the unveiling of the building’s new sign on Tuesday 15th August, accompanied by family members and Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading.

Mrs Vacher made several long-distance flights in a single-engine aircraft in aid of Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (a charity that allows people with disabilities to pilot aeroplanes themselves), and was an awarded an MBE by the Queen for her efforts. At the unveiling, Mrs Vacher said: “It’s a proud honour to have a building named after me, but very humbling. I’d like to think that everyone who walks through the door of the building will be inspired to believe that if you keep at it you can achieve your dreams.”

Mrs Vacher also supports University of Reading’s Institute of Education, establishing its Universal Voices community children’s choir for children aged 7-12 and giving children the opportunity to experience the joy of music regardless of their financial circumstances.

The Polly Vacher building is home to the Knowledge Transfer Centre, and it is a huge honour for us to get to work in a building named after such an prestigious woman. Mrs Vacher is an inspiration and we are very proud to be part of the recognition she deserves. 

You can read more about the charity she works with,Flying Scholarships for Disabled People, on their website: http://www.fsdp.co.uk/

 

Congratulations to our Associate!

We would like to say a huge congratulations to Llion Preston for gaining his Masters last week from Aberystwyth University!

Llion has been studying for his Masters whilst also working as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate in a project with Armajaro and University of Reading.

Here he is with a very proud Mum and Dad. What an excellent achievement, well done!