During the second week of February, it was the 1st year anniversary of me becoming the KTP Programme Manager. What a year it has been and it has flown by.
My previous blog concentrated on the highly successful 2015 KTP Awards and the various events that surrounded the 40th Anniversary of the programme, KTP@40.
Both of these milestones were important for KTP and highlighted the excellent projects that KTP has supported and their outstanding outcomes. However, by their very nature these are events that looked ‘back’ at what KTP has achieved and, as we know, the world continues to evolve and move forward.
Like Dr Who, KTP changes personality with each regeneration
KTP has lasted 40 years due to its fundamental structure but also its ability to adapt to a changing world. I view the changes that KTP has undergone through the years as being analogous to the ‘regeneration’ that Dr Who undergoes between actors taking on the role with each regeneration leading to a new personality but with the same underlying principals and guidance.
Thus during my first year in the role of KTP Programme manager,KTP has undergone a major review and improvement programme. I certainly cannot take the glory or claim the lead role, as the process was started (keeping with the Dr Who analogy) by my predecessor, Clare Lindsay, and many people, both internal and external to the organisation, have contributed.
As I write, the recommendations and outcomes of this work are being transformed into a new and streamlined KTP that retains its essential core features, while becoming more user-friendly. The changes, which have affected both policy and operational issues, have included:
- the introduction of a new application form
- changes to the application and assessment processes
- changes to the policies regarding repeat KTPs and their grant rates
- concentrating on KTPs >12 months.
We are confident that this is a regeneration of the KTP scheme that will ensure KTP remains fit for purpose and a core part of the innovation landscape.
The regeneration of the KTP scheme was driven by the recognition that it needed to evolve, as highlighted by reports such as those by Dame Ann Dowling. However as KTP regenerated, the universe in which it operates also changed dramatically, as during my year in the role, Innovate UK has welcomed a new CEO, Dr Ruth McKernan. Two new things have happened since:
- Ruth has instigated a new 5 point plan for Innovate UK
- Comprehensive Spending Review was undertaken by the new government.
Both of these events will influence the parameters in which KTP will need to work as it continues to move forward to meet the needs of innovators who need to integrate knowledge from the UK’s world class Higher Education Institutes and I am confident that the new, streamlined and regenerated KTP is ready and flexible for the new universe it will need to operate in.
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