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Life as a KTP Associate at Leeds Beckett

For over 40 years the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has been a successful part-government funded initiative that has contributed towards the growth of Research and Innovation in businesses across the United Kingdom.

Life as a KTP Associate at Leeds Beckett

The KTP programme is funded by Innovate UK on behalf of the UK Government and collaborates a business with academia (knowledge base) and a recently qualified graduate (KTP Associate) with the capability to lead a strategic business project.

Having started last year in February 2018, it is now just over half way through my 24-month project as a KTP Associate under the guidance of both Leeds Business School & the School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering.

This KTP project has core themes of organisational management, advanced analytics and machine learning which will develop and embed a bespoke data analytics framework into the business to inform and support targeted & tailored process interventions and evidence-based decision making. This will also allow future publications that will be based on this project.

As an SME in the manufacturing industry, the business has benefited from the KTP project by using the expertise and resources of the three senior academics involved and the application of advanced analytics on the company’s historical data. The project is highlighting key areas of focus with potential remedies and actions with the goal of making more informed decisions rather than solely relying on intuition.

For a KTP Associate, the project provides real industry experience with the ability to take charge and manage both the expectations of the University and the Business. It brings many challenges such as ensuring project stage deadlines are met under with the balance of being project manager and mediator of the project.

One main benefit was the prospect of achieving a Masters of Research (MRes) part time whilst undertaking the full time job as an Operations Analyst under the KTP division. The academics are also supervisors towards the KTP associates Masters of Research (MRes) in how data analysis can be used for better decision making at an SME, which is complimentary to the project itself.

As part of the KTP associate experience, there has been many complimentary opportunities and one example that comes to mind is the LBS Doctoral Symposium 2019 in January. This was a great platform to network with fellow students in research giving advice on the day to day obstacles faced as well as learning from the research experience of the academics themselves.

To conclude, the graduate receives a platform to excel and play a leading role in the project management of the KTP project, the academics get to take advantage of research and innovation in a challenging industry and the business gets the much-needed transfer of applied knowledge that will ultimately benefit them post KTP to help their competitive performance.

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About the Authors

Dr Oliver Jones

Dr Ollie Jones joined Leeds Business School in 2004 and is a Principal Lecturer in Operations, Enterprise and Supply Chain Management. Ollie graduated in Manufacturing and Business from Cambridge University before working in a large multinational co-operation in a variety of sectors progressing from a graduate to senior management roles. He has been appointed a Teacher Fellow, in recognition of teaching excellence, and continues to works extensively with a different businesses in consultancy, particularly around productivity development, and is currently the research lead for his subject group.

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