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Reading Knowledge Transfer Partnership scoops DTI award – University of Reading

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Reading Knowledge Transfer Partnership scoops DTI award

Release Date 04 April 2006

From the left: Professor Carl Stychin, Dr Ian Harrison (Director, Knowledge Transfer Services Directorate, DTI), Kate Darby and Martyn BerryA Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Reading and London-based company solarcentury – which led to the development of new solar technologies – has won a prestigious award from the DTI. The project partners received their award from Trade & Industry Secretary, the Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, during a high profile event celebrating KTP's thirtieth anniversary at the Savoy Hotel on Tuesday 28 March. Reading was one of just nine KTPs out of 320 nominees to win an award for best project in 2005. KTPs aim to foster innovation and accelerate wealth creation by forming partnerships between companies and 'Knowledge Base' organisations, such as universities, in response to specific and strategic projects. The award-winning Reading project established a successful partnership between the University's School of Construction Management and Engineering and solarcentury. The project, supervised by the University's Dr Anne Wheldon, saw a Reading graduate working on and strengthening the development programme at solarcentury. Martyn Berry, 31, who undertook an MSc in Renewable Energy and the Environment, researched and developed building cladding and roofing products, which utilise solar technology to provide power for buildings. With the help of the University's expertise, solarcentury had created new products and enhanced its position in the marketplace. Dan Davies, Director of Engineering at the company, said: "The KTP proved a superb platform to provide 'fresh' eyes on opportunities long discussed within the organisation and to kick-start our new product development activities." Congratulating the winners on their awards, the Rt Hon Alan Johnson said: "There are 1,000 projects running across the country today, and by putting high calibre graduates into growing businesses on key areas, they are injecting fresh ideas straight into the veins of key businesses. "I am greatly encouraged by these inspiring young people, and the universities that are supporting them. While there is still work to be done, we are on the right track to ensure the UK is at the forefront of science and innovation in the future." This is the second award that the University of Reading and solarcentury partnership has won. In 2004, the solar roof tile developed as part of the programme won Best Exterior Product at the Interbuild New Product Awards. The University of Reading Knowledge Transfer Centre is currently the most successful in the UK, with 44 programmes helping companies in sectors as diverse as engineering and food processing, energy and marketing to access University expertise and technology. End Notes to Editors solarcentury solarcentury designs and installs intelligent solar electric solutions for a cleaner world. We have helped more homes and businesses generate their own solar power than anyone else in the UK. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels convert light directly into electricity, have no moving parts and are silent and emission-free in operation. Contact: http://www.solarcentury.com Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a Government subsidised scheme to encourage the transfer of expertise between research organisations and business. The one-three-year programmes employ a graduate to work on a product development or strategic project, with the ongoing supervision of the academic partner. Contact: Reading Knowledge Transfer Centre on 0118 378 8214 The University of Reading The University of Reading is internationally renowned for excellence in teaching and research and one the top 20 research powerful universities in the UK. The University offers a wide range of services and opportunities for business, including collaborative research, consultancy, access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, access to intellectual property and licensing, managed office space, incubation facilities, recruitment services and student placements and continual professional development. Contact: Business Development Team on 0118 378 6161 An image of the Reading team receiving the award is available upon request. Please contact Craig Hillsley, Press Officer, on 0118 378 7388 or c.hillsley@rdg.ac.uk

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