'Boosting Business Performance with a Knowledge Transfer Partnership' Speakers' Panel
18 February 2015
‘A great event!’ was the way delegates described the third Speakers’ Panel hosted by the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship at Henley Business School on Monday 16 February 2015
Supported and sponsored by the Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub and Santander, the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship staged the ‘Boosting Business Performance with a Knowledge Transfer Partnership’ Speakers’ Panel at Henley Business School on Monday 16 February 2015.
In front of a packed lecture theatre of SME delegates, Masters students and guests, the speakers shared their experience of working with the University of Reading on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) and how it has helped them grow their businesses. Asked whether they would do it again, all enthusiastically confirmed their intention to do so.
Ginny Gibson, Deputy Dean of Henley Business School, welcomed delegates and highlighted the importance of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and the commitment of the Henley Business School to building relationships with the SME community.
Mark Ashwell, MD of TradeMark Windows spoke of the KTP as a ‘no brainer’ and that the graduate he had employed help change the business and introduce many new tools and practices including a bespoke customer relationship management system. Mark is adamant he will use a KTP (or as he calls it ‘grab a graduate’) again.
Chris Fifield, Technical Manager at a small business that builds radiation monitoring equipment, spoke of his time as a KTP graduate who had successfully completed his project and was offered a full time permanent job – typically 70% of KTP graduates are offered a permanent role within the business at the end of the project. He also spoke of gaining confidence in a commercial environment and changing the mindset within the company from merely developing products to developing products that meet customer needs and will sell.
Karen Ovenden, Co-founder and Operations Director at Hireserve, spoke passionately about her experience and how the KTP has helped to grow Hireserve through the development of an entirely new system called ATS2go, which allows them to attract new, smaller organisations to their customer base. As a result, the company has taken on an additional five members of staff in response to new customers and increase in revenues, and Karen anticipates that this growth will continue.
A live on-line poll of the audience revealed that there is real interest among SMEs to engage a KTP with 50% saying they would wish to do so now or within the next six months. SMEs identified that ‘developing a new product, service or technology’ was of greatest interest for a KTP.
Some very positive feedback was received from SMEs attending the event:
’A great event… thank you!’ Libby Good, The Food ATP
‘Really excellent... Surprising how much I learned and how important it is’John Davies, Pacer International
‘Very informative’, Marc Charron, Zero Paradox
From the feedback received, delegates were unanimous in saying they would recommend the Speakers’ Panel to colleagues.
The Speakers’ Panel is the third in the series that addresses topics identified by the SME Forum held on 24 June 2014. The two remaining Speakers’ Panels this year are ‘Successfully Hiring and Developing Staff’ (25 March 2015) and ‘Sourcing Finance for Business Growth’ (11 May 2015)
The University of Reading is committed to working with the SME community in the Thames Valley Region for mutual benefit.
Contact and Notes:
Business Development Lead & Executive in Residence, Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship
Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship
Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship is part of Henley Business School at the University of Reading which provides a hub for teaching and research in the subject, inspiring students from across the University to embrace, develop and apply their entrepreneurial abilities.
Director, Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub
Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub
The Growth Hub offers a new way of working to Berkshire's high growth businesses. Backed by Government, it provides a single gateway for ambitious businesses who are seeking the information, guidance, support, expertise, finance, knowledge and experience they need to scale-up and grow, boost performance and find new ways of working.
Regional Corporate Director
Santander Bank UK
Santander Bank UK is the wholly owned subsidiary of the Santander Group, a Spanish bank providing full retail banking services.