University Completes its First Knowledge Transfer Partnership

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A specialist service to survey membership organisations has been developed through a scheme to help businesses increase their performance.

The University of Worcester has completed its first Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Malvern-based firm Cargyll, who specialise in helping organisations with their people performance.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) are a UK-wide programme enabling businesses to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by teaming up with an academic institution and recent graduate. The partnership enables organisations to access skills and expertise to help their business develop.

In its first KTP the University worked with Cargyll to develop a service for surveying and measuring membership retention rates. PhD student Helen Watts, who had already carried out research in membership retention in commercial settings with Cargyll, was employed as the associate for the 16-week project, supervised by Dr Jan Francis-Smythe, Director of the University’s Centre for People at Work.

She said: “Cargyll work with a range of organisations, some of which are membership-based. Therefore, to help Cargyll to be able to better advise its clients about how they could improve retention of members, they needed to better understand why people cancel or retain their membership”

The KTP is part-funded by the business and part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board through the University. By participating in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships businesses can access qualified people to spearhead new projects to take their business forward; develop innovative solutions to help their business grow; improve their performance/business operations; and ultimately increase profitability.

Projects can vary in length from 10 weeks to three years depending on the needs of the business and the desired outcomes.

Howard Skerry, Head of the University of Worcester’s Business Development Office, said: “KTPs are about matching graduates and companies with a shared benefit. They can be in pretty much anything, from developing services, as in this case, to developing physical products.”

Carl Graham, Partner at Cargyll, added: “We realised that a niche market was untapped, and following on from the match-funded PhD project between Cargyll and the University, we had the means to develop such a product.  We plan to roll out the new service to existing and new clients.”

If you would like help in developing a business idea or product and are interested in the KTP scheme please contact Howard Skerry at or at 01905 542215.