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QUEEN'S KTP TEAM WINs FOUR AWARDS AT THE KTP ‘BEST OF THE BEST’ AWARDS 2020Queen's KTP Best of the Best Awards winners 2020

15 September 2020

Queen's KTP team has added to its growing number of national awards by winning four out of 12 awards at the KTP ‘Best of the Best’ Awards 2020 which were announced at a virtual ceremony last week (Wednesday 9 September).

The Innovate UK KTP ‘Best of the Best’ awards recognise and celebrate the strength and diversity of impact delivered through KTP-supported industry-academic partnerships.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a three-way partnership between companies, graduates and academics. KTPs primarily help businesses to innovate and grow, but their symbiotic nature also benefits the graduates who work in these businesses for a project's duration and the academic or research organisation who recruits the graduate for the position.

Queen's University Belfast won four awards across two categories:

  • 'Engineering Excellence'
  • IG Masonry Support Systems Ltd, in collaboration with Queen’s School of Natural and Built Environment. The KTP Associate was Emanuele Scarabino.

The 'Engineering Excellence' category celebrates the engineering ingenuity achieved through KTP collaboration.

  • 'Future Innovator'
  • Leona McGirr (Fusion Antibodies), in collaboration with The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen's
  • Mark Gilmore (Kilwaughter Minerals Ltd), in collaboration with Queen's School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  • Muddasar Anwar (FP McCann), in collaboration with Queen's School of Natural and Built Environment

A 'Future Innovator' is awarded for outstanding performance by a KTP Associate and the enormous positive changes they have created within their industry.

Commenting on this year's quadruple achievement, Lorraine Marks, Head of KTP and Business Engagement Programmes at Queen's, said:

"Queen's University Belfast is a leader in KTP development and delivery, working with over 400 companies, the majority of which are SMEs.

"Our dedicated KTP team always goes the extra mile to serve and support our company partners, academic researchers and the KTP Associates. We are proud and delighted to have our Partnerships recognised at the KTP ‘Best of the Best’ Awards 2020."

Meet the successful KTP associates:

  • Emanuele Scarabino of Masonry Support Systems in collaboration with Dr Daniel McPolin from Queen’s School of Natural and Built Environment has helped create a bespoke mathematical model to deliver 9,000 staff hours in just 60 seconds, eliminating all human error. This incredible accuracy pushed the project beyond any expectations set out in the original plan; the ability to predict physical behaviour with such precision has transformed product design with material savings and remarkable improvements in efficiency for Masonry Support Systems.
  • Leona McGirr began her KTP journey with Fusion Antibodies, in collaboration with Professor Christopher Scott from the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research. She led the KTP project, supporting the company’s offering in antibody engineering; transforming capabilities and competitiveness, and helping speed up the development of the best antibodies possible, which has been highlighted as a result of Covid-19. Leona developed, and now leads, a major new R&D project (Rapid Antibody Maturation Programme (RAMP) within the company.
  • Mark's Gilmore’s KTP project is with Kilwaughter Minerals, in partnership with Professors Steven Bell and Peter Nockemann from the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Together they developed a new class of environmentally friendly ionic liquids, with superior water repellent quality, for incorporation into a coating for exterior paint. The methodology created is now used as a benchmark for new product design within Kilwaughter and Mark has started taking steps to patent this technology for the company.
  • Muddasar Anwar’s KTP project with FP McCann, in collaboration with Professor Gerard Hamill and Dr Desmond Robinson from the School of Natural and Built Environment is to develop an understanding of complex flow systems coupled with discrete particle tracking. Muddasar is working on embedding this understanding across the company’s design sections, while simultaneously developing and establishing an advanced hydrodynamic separator. A state-of-the-art product – now at prototype stage – will remove gross pollutants before they enter nearby water courses, avoiding the possibility of significant environmental damage.

Congratulating the winners, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research and Development said:

“The KTP Programme is an integral part of Northern Ireland’s business ecosystem with over 650 companies already participating in the Programme with Queen’s, Ulster University, the Further Education Colleges and CAFRE. The Programme is invaluable to industry, graduates and institutions.

“Northern Ireland is outperforming other regions in the UK in the delivery of KTP, so it is no surprise that five Northern Ireland companies have won awards at this year’s national KTP awards.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to all the winners. We are proud to be a co-funder of KTP and look forward to being involved in its continued evolution in the coming years.”

The KTP ‘Best of the Best’ Awards are delivered for Innovate UK by the Knowledge Transfer Network. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme aims to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base.

KTPs are funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK as part of the government's Industrial Strategy.

Do you have an idea for an innovation or management project that could benefit from a collaborative KTP partnership with a specialist academic team then please contact Lorraine Marks, Head of KTP at Queen's or visit the Queen’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships web page.  

Media enquiries should be addressed to the Communications Officer at Queen’s University Belfast.

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