Trio of Cornish businesses launch KTPs with the University

Three Cornish businesses are launching a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the University of Plymouth.

Truro-based Made for Life Organics, Alan Harper Composites in Saltash and Redruth firm Bluefruit Software will be working with the University over the next two years. The three businesses are each hosting a KTP Associate who will focus on an innovative new project.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme that helps businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity by collaborating with a university. A graduate KTP Associate works within the business to deliver a project, with support from the University.

Based at the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre in Truro, Made for Life Organics creates a range of natural and organic skincare and beauty products. Handmade in Cornwall, the products have been developed combining dermatological science and botanicals. 

Lorena Lizarraga has joined as KTP Associate and R&D Scientist. Working in the business and with experts at the University, she will help the company to develop new and reformulated 100 per cent organic and natural skincare products using innovative new ingredients and manufacturing methods. These products are developed for people with sensitive and sensitised skin, including those undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy, 

Made for Life Organics Owner and Managing Director Amanda Winwood said: 

“Our KTP is bringing in the brains to help us extend the knowledge and science of our organic skincare products and move the business forward. Made For Life Organics has gone through massive growth, with sales doubling in the last two years. With any business, you need to continually innovate and improve your offer in order to thrive. Our KTP with the University of Plymouth is an unbelievably exciting opportunity. We’re accessing a wealth of knowledge and experience.”
Alan Harper, Owner and Managing Director of Alan Harper Composites, is embarking on a KTP with the University of Plymouth to develop a new technology to repair composites. Colin Hague, who grew up in Cornwall and graduated from the University of Plymouth, has joined as KTP Associate and will help the business develop innovative and more environmentally-friendly commercial methods to repair composite materials.

The company is internationally renowned for its reusable vacuum membrane, which has been used in the flooring of Germanys ICE fleet trains.

Alan Harper said: 

“We believe passionately in protecting the environment while providing cost-effective and efficient technology for composite molding. We’ve identified the need for a new way of repairing composites and with our KTP will be approaching this in a very innovative way. When you’re getting something new onto the market you need to be able to demonstrate that you’ve tested it thoroughly. In other words, you can get more credibility if you’re working with a good University. The KTP is helping us to link into the University of Plymouth’s wealth of knowledge and the facilities we’ve been able to access have been invaluable.”
Through its KTP, software specialists Bluefruit are aiming to establish a new offer to medical companies. KTP Associate and University of Plymouth graduate Trudy Ward will carry out detailed research to help the company develop a compliance service for its medical clients. The firm, which writes high-end software for electronic gadgets and devices, hopes that by consolidating its move into this new area it will attract new clients from the medical sector.

Steve Forth, General Manager of Bluefruit Software said: 

“We are known for producing high quality, high end software, particularly for the research and medical sectors. However, we are not experts at research so needed the University of Plymouth’s expertise to help with developing our latest product. We also needed someone to bring strong analytical skills to the team. The KTP is part of our commitment to providing a high quality service. The aim is to develop a new revenue stream, which will help us to grow the business.”
University of Plymouth KTP Specialist Advisor Dave Marshall said: 

“It is great to see such a high level of interest in KTPs among Cornwall’s business community. These three businesses are all embarking on really exciting projects and I look forward to seeing the results. As a former KTP Associate with a Cornish company, I have experienced first hand the impact and benefits that a KTP collaboration can deliver for everyone involved. I would strongly encourage innovative companies and ambitious graduates to consider KTP as an excellent way to strategically develop their businesses and accelerate their careers.”

Any businesses interested in discussing a KTP with the University of Plymouth should contact Enterprise Solutions on 0800 052700 or visit essupport.com