Bosses of an award-winning Teesside technology business that designs automated systems for nuclear attack submarines are investing in a new scheme that could help them win more major deals.
Applied Integration has joined forces with Teesside University in a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) designed to encourage businesses to improve their competitive edge through the use of emerging expertise and innovative technologies.
Funded by government grants and sponsorship, KTP is a nationwide programme helping businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of the UK’s knowledge, technology and skills-base.
Applied Integration is working with academics within the university’s School of Computing to radically redesign the Stokesley firm’s in-house project development framework.
The project is developing software to streamline Applied Integration’s in-house processes, reducing costs and development time associated with the production of hybrid critical systems.
It will focus on introducing internal processes that ensure client requirements are clearly understood at the very outset of major projects.
The KTP could save Applied Integration – and its customers – substantial time and money, giving the systems integrator a competitive advantage in a challenging and increasingly demanding market.
Specialising in providing cutting edge solutions to a wide range of 21st Century industries, Applied Integration design and develop the automation and control systems for customers in the petrochemicals, oil, gas and defence sectors
Recent winners of the Manufacturing gong at the North East Business Awards, when they were also shortlisted for the second successive year for Teesside Company of the Year, Applied Integration is currently building state-of-the-art, safety-critical control systems for the Royal Navy’s nuclear-powered Astute-class attack submarines.
Leading the university’s team of academics on the project are Dr Peter Gregory, and Dr Joao Ferreira, both senior lecturers and integral members of the university’s Digital Futures Research Institute.
Recent graduate Ali Almohammad has been recruited to work as an associate on the £108,000 KTP, with engineer Phil White supervising the project within Applied Integration.
Director Garry Lofthouse said: “We’re excited about the potential for this collaborative project with Teesside University.
“If it’s as successful as we believe it can be, it will provide us with a business tool that will give us a real advantage over our rivals.”
The Teesside University collaboration is particularly poignant for Garry and his fellow directors Lee Raywood and Graham King, as all three are graduates of the university, along with several members of the firm’s engineering team.
Mr Raywood said: “We see this exciting partnership as the start of a close working relationship with the university.
“This is a cutting edge programme, not only within our industry but any industry, so we are keen to tap into the university’s centre of excellence for mathematic modelling and all the great academic expertise they hold.”
Laura Woods, Teesside University’s director of academic enterprise, 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.”
• Pictured (above) Applied Integration directors Lee Raywood (left) and Garry Lofthouse (right) with Teesside University senior lecturers Dr Peter Gregory (second left) and Dr Joao Ferreira.