Knowledge exchange, connectivity, network, city

Fast facts

The key to our success is innovation. The University of Plymouth has provided workable solutions using the latest cutting-edge technology, specialist skills and expertise that we would not otherwise have access to. The relationship between Spinnaker and the University continues to flourish.

Tony Westington, Former Managing Director, Spinnaker International Ltd

Project information

  • Project aim: Design a highly efficient charging and energy storage system 
  • Project duration: 24 months
  • Project budget: £122,476
  • KTP sponsor: Innovate UK
  • Academic team: Dr Mohamed Zaki Ahmed and Dr Paul Davey, School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, University of Plymouth
  • Associate: Gerhard Jacobs, BEng(Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Plymouth


  • Wireless charging efficiency increased to over 75%.
  • Patent developed on Neutral Point Clamping (NPC) wireless charger.
  • New novel technologies to be incorporated in next generation product in 2016. 
  • Enhanced knowledge of Radio-frequency Identification Data (RFID) NPC seminars delivered to Masters students and support for PhD researcher.
  • Ongoing collaboration between Spinnaker and the University.


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) is Europe’s leading programme for helping businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance through better use of the knowledge, technology and skills available within the UK knowledge base. 
Cornish based Spinnaker International Ltd has led the market for almost 30 years in producing security products for the Cash in Transit (CIT) industry for its worldwide customer base. Sophisticated systems monitor and protect cash and if attacked, the cash is degraded. When a customer chooses one of Spinnaker’s market-leading products like the iBox for cash protection, whether it is carried across the pavement or in a static location such as an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), they can be sure of receiving outstanding after-sales support, offered to over 41 locations in 23 countries around the world.
Spinnaker sought the assistance of the University of Plymouth academic experts for help with the design and development of an enhanced wireless charging system that allowed for extended service interval times in markets that have an extended geographical reach. This new embedded capability would lead to reduced operational costs allowing expansion and increased exports into existing, and new foreign markets. Spinnaker has engaged with the University of Plymouth on a number of KTP projects over the past 18 years, across various faculties and recognises the benefits they have achieved.
KTP associates Gerhard Jacobs
Gerhard Jacobs was appointed as KTP Associate in 2012 as a Systems Development Engineer with Spinnaker International. With the support of University experts, Gerhard identified key challenges that the company faced and began a detailed review of wireless inductive charging theory and off the shelf solutions. Further analysis and a feasibility study into Radio-frequency Identification Data (RFID) led to the design and development of the Neural Point Clamping (NPC) wireless charging system. 
The KTP developed new wireless technology that will allow Spinnaker to operate more effectively in foreign markets; gain a competitive technical advantage over competitors who use unreliable contact charging; reduce service and scrappage costs and gain an enhanced reputation and a larger global market share. The work undertaken at optimising and developing a new wireless charging technology has resulted in a very sophisticated and innovative patented system for Spinnaker.