As 2019 slowly drifts to an end, we can fondly reflect back on a fantastic year full of wonderful successes not just for us, but also for the University of Reading and all the incredible people and organisations we have been lucky enough to collaborate with over the course of the last 12 months.
We’ve had lots of incredible highlights throughout 2019, and one of the main ones was the expansion of our team. We carefully hire people who will thrivingly integrate within our KTC family and who share our mentality of bringing excellent service and expertise of the highest calibre to those we work with.
We have welcomed three new members to the family this year:
- Chrissy Boulton joined us initially as a temporary member of staff for the GradSpire student recruitment scheme back in March, but in doing such a fantastic job she stayed with the KTC and is now our Commercial Project Development Manager, working closely with the Commercial Director and other departments on exciting new projects and collaborations across the University.
- Clare Stratford joined us having previously been part of another team at the Thames Valley Science Park. Bringing a huge breadth of knowledge and a very positive energy to our team, Clare is now our Business Networks & Projects Coordinator.
- And last but not least, Marianna Spanoyannis joined us in October as our KTC Project Administrator. Marianna oversees administrative support for all the Knowledge Transfer Centre’s projects and external collaborations, and has brought a passionate and energetic atmosphere to the business support team.
Unfortunately we also had to say goodbye to our former KTC Administrator, Diana Reynell, who left us in August. After 13 years as a valued and much loved part of the family we were sad to see her leave but wish her every success and happiness in her future endeavors.
Some other activities we’re elated to shout about are all the collaborations we’ve continued with or freshly established over the course of the year. Not only are we still taking on some fantastic Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, with some new ones already in motion and others to start in the new year, but we have also brought various non-KTP projects to the table. This has included (but is not limited to) the really interesting collaboration with the environmentally minded Eco-Insect (you can watch their case study here), and US-based media streaming company WorldCast Live (you can also watch their case study here). One of our partners, Aircharge, with whom we had a project to develop their wireless charging technology, featured on Sky News back in February, which was a fantastic achievement for them, and we felt very proud to see them getting exposure for their hard work. We have stayed true to our promise of working with all different types of people, companies, and not-for-profit organisations, and have taken pleasure in learning all about the amazing research being conducted all around the country.
Additionally, we have taken part in some great competitions this year, including the YES (Young Entrepreneur Scheme) with University of Nottingham which celebrates the entrepreneurs of the future and raises awareness among postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers of how ideas from science and engineering can be commercialised. We are heavily involved with this competition every year, and although no University of Reading teams made the final this year (a shame considering we won it last year!), we will continue to support this fantastic scheme in 2020. The ‘just imagine if…’ competition created by Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley was also a huge success and something we were hugely involved with, and will continue to be part of when the University of Durham host next year. Having helped Ella’s Kitchen get off the ground and become the huge success it is today, it was truly brilliant to be able to work with Paul in creating such a large-scale competition as this, helping bring people’s ideas of making the world a better place come to life.
We have enjoyed many successes and worked with some incredible people in 2019, and with that we’re extremely excited to see what 2020 will bring. Thank you to all those we have collaborated with or who have helped us in making 2019 the fruitful year it was, but for now all that’s left to say is that we wish everyone a wonderful Christmas break, and here’s to a prosperous new year!
With warmest regards
The Knowledge Transfer Centre at University of Reading