This week marked the end of my two year Brookes university/commercial project partnership under the government supported scheme of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and here’s the lemon drizzle cake we ate! What’s a KTP you ask? and did it create value for all the stakeholders?
Very simply, a KTP involves an SME identifying a specific project which would make a significant impact to the organisations’s ability to grow. An usually local, university co-writes a proposal and bid for funding with the firm, it then goes to a regional government board for approval. Once confirmed, recruitment commences of a KTP associate, normally a young graduate with relevant skills to the project’s needs. This person then works in the firm for a period of time to compete the project with support and guidance from an academic expert in the field supplied by the university. A significant part of the cost involved is funded by the government with the intention of helping the growth of local businesses. There is generally a technical component to the project, find further information at http://www.ktponline.org.uk/
My KTP involved http://www.mankind.co.uk , (now part of The Hut Group of companies) an online retailer of premium branded health and beauty products which wanted to develop an integrated social media strategy that would have real ROI. Over the past 2 years the KTP associate Darren Jones http://www.linkedin.com/in/darrenianjones has created a strategy which resulted in a significant upswing in customer engagement as well as social sales in the UK and abroad through an integrated social media plan and the training of a social team as a legacy. He is now off to join The Post Office as a social media manager, well done Darren. Here we are, post-cake eating, with the Oxford Brookes Unversity KTP manager John Corlett.