The KTP scheme is a three-way partnership between a university, business and a graduate and is overseen by a KTP advisor, acting on behalf of Innovate UK.
John Sayers, Managing Director at Hodgson Sayers, said: “It is our aim to continue to be innovative and to think outside the box. We want to be challenged and to challenge ourselves so that we can push boundaries that will enhance our growth.
“We noted that there was a movement towards Building Information Modelling (BIM), but that this did not seem to incorporate the building refurbishment sector, where we felt there was a definite requirement to service our existing and potential client needs.
“Working in partnership with Teesside University, we developed a business case to progress the commercialisation of this niche area and gained funding from Innovate UK for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. Although this project is in the early stages and our graduate, Kin, only commenced his post in early December, the commitment and investment bodes well for our future. The objective is to create and embed a bespoke business intelligence platform that can be shared and practised by everyone in the company.
“Kin has settled in well and we have developed a close relationship with the team at Teesside University. Kin acts as a conduit transferring knowledge from the university into the company. He is a BA Hons (1st class) graduate in Interior Architecture and Design and as an undergraduate was part of the team which won Best use of BIM for Sustainability or Constructability for the “Build Sydney Live” competition in October 2013.
Gilly Hall, Innovation Grants Adviser at Teesside University, said: “Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are the best practice route for companies, particularly SMEs, to access the innovation expertise found in universities. Aside from the specific expertise that is transferred into the business, they allow businesses to tap into the worldwide innovation and business networks which universities possess.”
Kin, 21, who is supervised by two Teesside academics, Prof Nashwan Dawood and Dr Mohamad Kassem, said: “Over the last few months I have been studying how the company operates. It offers a wide range of services so it has been challenging for me to look at a way in which this can be unified into one procedure.
“This is fantastic experience for me and I am working hard with the team to successfully deliver the project over the next two years, so that everyone in the company shares best working practices. It is my aim that in five years I will have the skills and knowledge to become a BIM Manager so that I can oversee new systems.”
This year Kin competed in Build Newcastle Live! A 48 hour design collaboration as a member of the BIM Commandos team that successfully won the Opimum Build Newcastle Live Award.