We are delighted to share the news that at the recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Best of the Best Awards, two Reading partnerships ‘went home’ with top awards. The awards celebrate the best of KTP’s three-way partnerships between business, academic/research teams, and qualified graduates, designed to drive innovation for UK businesses and organisations.


Best of the Best

At this National Award ceremony, the top prize, awarded to the most outstanding overall partnership; the KTP which has brought the most significant benefits to all three participants, and which best exemplifies innovation through collaboration, was won by a multidisciplinary collaboration between academics Professor Rachel McCrindle (SBS), Professor Richard Mitchell (Computer Science) and Dr Yota Dimitriadi (IoE) and local (on campus) company Red Whale, enabled by KTP Associate Dr Blessing Mbpiom.

Red Whale (formerly GP-Update Ltd) provide medical education to over 20,000 primary care clinicians each year including GP’s, Doctors, Practice Nurses and Practice Managers. Their mission is to provide the best quality medical education in the UK that engages and inspires clinicians to undertake CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and translates to immediate patient benefit through a combination of humour, action plans, and up-to-the-minute medical research.

In 2017 they approached Reading with a desire to create a platform to deliver state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice training in medicine and healthcare, across a range of devices, accessible at anytime and anywhere. The key to the project was to make sure that the new courses met the unique selling point of being relevant, challenging and fun.

In undertaking this KTP project the business has been able to drive forward its digital transformation strategy, build resilience, become more agile in its working practices, and improve customer experiences. In addition to being a commercial success the company were able to support the NHS through the pandemic by providing free access to COVID- related content and provide an international programme to support family doctors in low-income countries with free access, impacting the wellbeing of people across the world.

The academics were able to support the move from traditional instructor-led sequential delivery to a multimedia approach by applying their existing research into technology enhanced learning and novel teaching and learning techniques to a real-world problem.

Professor Rachel McCrindle said:

“We are very proud of the part we have played in the transformation of Red Whale’s business. Seeing how the project contributed to Red Whale’s fantastic support for frontline NHS staff during the Coronavirus pandemic was also hugely motivating and highlights the benefits of industry and University collaboration. Winning the Best of the Best KTP award is the icing on the cake!”

Future Leader

Dr Louis Williams Head of Psychology & Behavioural Insights at “Dynamic Planner” (holding company Distribution Technology Ltd), a Reading graduate, was awarded the prestigious Future Leader Award for his role as KTP Associate on his KTP project. This award recognises KTP Associates who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills, above and beyond expectations. Dynamic Planner is a ‘FinTech’ company servicing the financial advisory industry. This project used novel insights from behavioural finance and quantitative analysis of large data sets to provide new products for Independent Financial Advisors and Fund Managers to improve retail investor decision making.

On receiving the award Louis said:

“I feel very honoured to receive the KTP future leader award. It confirms the success of the KTP project, and my role as an associate. Having an experience where you can gain insight into an industry, gives you an edge over many academics at an early stage in your career.”

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) aim to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills within the UK knowledge base. The collaborative grant enables the University to employ a recent graduate who is based at the company to deliver the project. The scheme can last between 12 and 36 months, depending on what the project is and the needs of the business.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact the KTC.

In a previous article we looked at The Work of the Knowledge Transfer Centre