Brookes KTP amongst the Best of The Best

Thursday, 06 November 2014


An innovative Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Oxford Brookes and YASA Motors has scooped a prestigious award from Innovate UK.

The initiative took home the Engineering Excellence prize in the Best of The Best Awards 2014. The awards celebrate the stand-out successes among the year's KTP projects from the commercial world and publicly funded organisations.

KTPs are a unique opportunity for the University and business to come together to work on innovative projects.

David Hartley, Commercial and Knowledge Transfer Manager

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a government programme which brings an ambitious graduate, supported by a university specialist, into a company to lead a transformational project, which may involve new technology and new business systems.

In 2011, Oxford Brookes’ Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mathematical Sciences (MEMS) entered into a KTP with YASA Motors, an Oxfordshire-based engineering company. YASA are the creators of a revolutionary electric motor which first made an appearance in the Morgan LIFECar and has opened up huge opportunities for the company in the automotive sector.  The KTP with Oxford Brookes has helped YASA to prepare for mass production in a market predicted to be worth £15bn by 2020.

By the end of the KTP, production time had been reduced from seven days to two. Material use had been reduced, the defect rate was down ten-fold and the cost of a key component was reduced from £95 to £10.

Oxford Brookes is currently engaged in a second KTP with YASA to address the challenge of motor cooling. Previously an oil coolant was used but in the high-speed applications the amount of generated heat was still limiting the output power. A solution is currently being worked on which will cool the motor more efficiently as well as reducing the amount of material and the cost of ownership.

David Hartley, Commercial and Knowledge Transfer Manager, commented: “It is excellent news that Oxford Brookes and YASA Motors have been recognised with this award. KTPs are a unique opportunity for the University and business to come together to work on innovative projects. The YASA collaboration is an excellent example of this and the partnership has developed in recent years following its initial successes. We look forward to continuing with this and our range of KTPs in the years to come.” 

In total, five of Oxford Brookes’ projects were shortlisted for national awards.  In the last ten years Oxford Brookes has achieved 80% graded as ‘outstanding’ or ‘very good’ in the independent gradings that are awarded to KTP projects.

This compares to the national average of 55% and demonstrates the real value that Oxford Brookes brings to businesses in its knowledge transfer, and the robust arrangements the University has in managing its collaborative projects.

Over the past 10 years there have been over 30 KTPs with Oxford Brookes as university partner with a total value of around £5m.

Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board and is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

More information on KTPs can be found on the Oxford Brookes website.