Focus on wow factor projects: The Seafood Restaurant

University name – University of Brighton

Company name – Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant

Associate name – Filip Jicinksy

Active Timeframe  –  18/06/07-17/06/09

What the partnership was about – Defining and implementing a retail business strategy for e-commerce mail order, merchandising and management control, improving profitability, reducing costs, and providing a platform for future expansion.

What was the WOW factor – This was the University of Brightons first ever retail KTP –  by implementing rigorous retail systems and operational processes it delivered phenomenal increase in turnover (26% in-programme) and profit margin (106% in-programme), exceeding the 3 year post-programme forecasts put forward in the proposal during the project.

What’s KTP like for an Associate?

Associate Profile

Name:                    Jugal Desai

Background:          University of Warwick (MSc Engineering Business Management)

Brief description of project

To develop and implement an innovative product design process, fully integrated into the supply chain, to deliver competitive, modular products for new and established markets.

Highlights from the project

Personal highlights:

This project was an eye opening opportunity for me. Working on this project has helped me to realise my hidden potentials. My key personal highlights from the KTP include;

1)    Presenting a paper at the KTP Associate’s Conference 2013.

2)    Achieving certified status of Managing Successful Programmes ® Practitioner.

3)    Delivering a motivational marketing presentation for UoB members of staff.

4)    Presenting as a key note speaker at the KTP Associate’s Conference 2014.

5)    Becoming a finalist for “Business Leader of Tomorrow” Awards.

6)    Identifying my hidden managerial and leader potential along with business acumen that led me to an Operations Manager role post KTP.

Project highlights:

The project has fundamentally changed the way that Dando’s operations are performed. The most effective aspect has been the integration of the information between various departments and key supply chain links. Any queries are now being flagged in real time, enabling Dando to be more flexible, proactive, economic and responsive.

The project has also provided strategic benefits for the University. It has been able to document and understand the impact of this work in a real manufacturing environment and has been able to apply this to relevant teaching materials. The project also generated a significant number of student placements, and two of these students were recruited by Dando after graduation.

This project has helped me to build an engineering managerial career as I have since been employed by the company as Operations Manager.

The best thing about being a KTP Associate

There are infinite benefits to this role but of all, I believe following to be the best thing about being a KTP Associate;

“You own your success”. There is no better thing feeling you have been successful. I was a strategic partner in this Partnership and my career dream is to achieve a key corporate leadership position within a global organisation. This is a long term dream that could take more than 10 years of learning and experience, however KTP has been a driving force to help me achieve this dream sooner by giving me the opportunity to lead a corporate strategic project.

Challenges overcome during partnership

Mine was a two year long project with high level strategic aims and significant outputs, so maintaining enthusiasm throughout the project was a key challenge. Some say, “Success consists of going from failure to failure but without the loss of enthusiasm”. The success of the KTP project depends on the enthusiasm, patience and motivation of the Associate. I treated KTP Project as a business in itself and KTP Associate (myself) as its Business Director. Hence, all the challenges were to be faced with passion to make this business successful – enthusiasm is the catalyst that will make a KTP Project shine to the stars.

What I am doing now

I am currently employed as Operations Manager at Dando Drilling International. I oversee Supply Chain, Planning, Product Development and Production functions. My work includes managing day-to-day activities as well as coming up with new processes and strategies, so potential applicants must be able to see both the big picture and the minute details. Daily tasks may include: reading, writing, and analysing reports and statistics; presenting to stakeholders and members of upper management; establishing and tracking budgets; researching new technologies or methods of efficiency; and managing employees, manage inventory, facility layouts, product distribution, and many more tasks.

Working as a KTP Associate, I gathered a good strategic insight of the company’s operations, the challenges it faced and its vision. This provided a strong foundation that led me to Operations Manager role.

I would recommend a KTP because…

In today’s world, the fact is that being different is the first step to success. I have found KTP to be the only programme that is truly different compared to others and which adds great value to your career dreams. I believe that “Leading a successful team and leading a successful dream are two different things”; KTP is the only programme that will fuel both.



Unexpected spin-offs and benefits from KTP

Watch a video about the benefits of KTP from Dando Drilling International.

Gina Fitch-Roy, Commercial Director at Dando said, “The relationship with the University – good from the start but much strengthened through the KTP process – yielded many unanticipated benefits – our collaboration has been characterised not only by academic rigour and a clear commitment to our commercial goals but also by a good humour and tolerance that has made it tremendous fun. Our investment in KTP has been one of the best we have made.”

Dando took advantage of every opportunity to engage with the university from the outset to achieve significant outcomes across the board. Overseen by the Associate with support from the academic team, they set up projects which were delivered by two final year students and a group of engineering Masters students which resulted in Dando employing two Brighton University graduates on a permanent basis.

Find out more

To find out whether a KTP with the University of Brighton could help your company innovate and grow, contact Shona on 01273 642435; and see for more examples of companies who have benefitted from KTP.

It’s National KTP Month!


This year the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme is celebrating its 40th birthday and to mark the occasion, the KTP team are holding a number of events throughout November (National KTP Month).

After starting life in 1975 as the Teaching Company Scheme (TCS) and then evolving into KTP in 2003, the scheme has become one of the largest graduate recruitment programmes across the UK.

Since the University of Brighton KTP Centre opened in 1998, it has delivered over 250 TCS/KTP programmes with schools including the School of Environment and Technology, the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, the Business School, the School of Sport and Service Management, the School of Art and Design, the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and the Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM).

The University of Brighton has an excellent reputation for delivering KTP, bringing about significant benefits for the university, company partner and the graduate (the KTP Associate) and currently has one of the largest programme of KTP projects in London and the South East. One of our programmes was also recently shortlisted for a national award that recognises inspirational and successful KTP projects.

Companies can find out more at a morning drop in session on 20th November in Crawley – email for more details.

Academics can find out more at one of our briefing sessions:

Date Time Location
11/11/15 1pm-2pm Hastings, Priory Square 402
13/11/15 10am-12pm Huxley Building 400/401
17/11/15 12-1pm Eastbourne, Aldro G9
18/11/15 1.30pm-2.30pm Grand Parade, Dorset Place 502
24/11/15 12.30pm-1.30pm Mithras House 227

Please RSVP to

Hope to see you in November!

Shona, Sue and Liz

The KTP Associate Conference 2015

The KTP Associates Conference has been hosted successfully at the University of Brighton for a number of years, providing a great opportunity to celebrate the successes of KTP and provide networking and presentation opportunities for Associates.

This year’s 2015 Conference marked the beginning of a new era for the event which has been handed over to the KTP community and will be hosted by a different UK university each year.

This year, the Conference was hosted by the West of Scotland KTP Centre, at the University of Strathclyde’s newly opened Technology and Innovation Centre.

Sue Fleming and the five University of Brighton Associates who travelled to Glasgow to attend the event

Around 130 people registered to attend, including 20 oral presentations and 35 poster presentations. The quality and variety of both presentations and posters was impressive and inspiring, really demonstrating that KTP delivers fantastic outcomes for all three partners – the companies, the universities, and of course, the Associates.

We were particularly delighted that one of the University of Brighton’s Associates, Andrew Black, was awarded the best poster prize, against stiff competition from over 35 other posters presented at the event. Andrew’s KTP is with Hove-based Class Of Their Own – one of the UK’s largest out of school care provider – on a 2 year strategic marketing project in which knowledge from a team from the Brighton Business School, led by Senior Lecturer Jane Priddis, will be transferred to guide research to underpin the growth of the business by developing additional complementary services and expanding into new geographical areas.

Tanya Petherick, Director at Class Of Their Own says “We are delighted that Andrew won the recent poster competition.  Andrew worked extremely hard to create an eye-catching, easy to understand poster and developed an engaging short presentation about the project.  So far we have been extremely impressed with the entire KTP process.  In Andrew, we have an Associate who is the perfect fit for our company – he is bursting with enthusiasm yet not afraid to spend time gathering data for our internal marketing audit.  We have had incredible support from the University of Brighton and KTP Adviser.  All in all, we’re very happy not only to win the poster competition but to be part of the KTP process.”

Andrew Black receiving his prize for Best PosterAndrew Black - KTP Associates Conference Poster Winner 2015

Andrew Black receiving his award for Best Poster presentation.

Andrew said: “The conference was a fun opportunity to meet new ‘KTP-ers’ from all over the country, as well as catching up with friends from my KTP residential training modules.  It was really useful with some really interesting presentations; especially showing just how diverse the different kinds of KTP projects are! Winning the poster competition was great! I find my KTP really exciting and it’s nice to know other people do too!”

Sue Fleming joined the five Associates from the University of Brighton who travelled up to Scotland to attend and support the event, and who between them, delivered one oral presentation and four poster presentations.

The 2016 Conference will be hosted by Coventry University and we look forward to seeing the Conference grow from strength to strength, and to celebrating more KTP Associate successes.

Audience KTPAC2015 1 FBarari poster (2)   Image by Guy Hinks. St George Square

From Paper to Practice: Applying Health Research Evidence in the Real World, Sean O’Connor

Sean OConnor


About me

I’m currently working as Research Fellow in the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast. My role involves teaching and grant writing but mainly involves exploring ways of encouraging people to be more physically active (and how we can use technology to help do this).


Background to the KTP project

In 2012, I started work on a short KTP between Nuffield Health, the leading provider of physiotherapy services in the UK outside of the National Health Service, and colleagues in the School of Health Professions at the University of Brighton.


Lower back pain is extremely common with around 80% of us getting it at some point in our lives and it is associated with huge costs related to frequent episodes of treatment and work absenteeism. The project aim was to develop a new treatment pathway for managing back pain. This involved systematically reviewing current research evidence and summarising it in a clear, concise and accessible way for patients and clinicians. Pathway recommendations are not designed to present rigid treatment plans but to summarise the evidence and provide a rationale for using a particular treatment approach. They are based on a number of factors, including not only the effectiveness of an intervention (how good it is), but also on an assessment of relative benefits (are there possible harms), resource implications (cost/time) and the beliefs and expectations of patients and clinicians (are they confident it will work?).


Barriers during the project

There were a number of clear challenges associated with working on the project, mainly in terms of its scope and that it was completed over a very short timescale. The work that underpinned the KTP was by its nature, very academic. Carrying out this type of work in a busy office type setting proved a challenge but the availability of a gym in the office building to get some exercise in between hours of sitting at a computer was much needed (mostly to avoid ending up with the problem I was reading about!). There are also always challenges when attempting to implement any change in working practice within an organisation, but recognising this at an early stage and testing out different techniques to overcome this has provided me with a great opportunity and the experience to work more in this area since finishing the project.      


Benefits of the project

The time intensive task of reviewing all the evidence is a necessary and from a research point of view, extremely worthwhile process (secondary project outputs included publications in peer reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences). However, as well as developing the pathway, a training system was developed designed to improve implementation of the pathway recommendations into ‘real world’ clinical practice, and improve the capacity of clinicians to critically appraise and apply research findings to their everyday practice.


Key messages

With the valuable support of the wider project team, the other outputs mentioned were all driven by my own efforts and this is the key message I would try to get across. It might seem obvious, but success will be determined only by the thought and effort that you apply to your work. Make the project your own and something to be proud of. From the very start, think not just about what you want to achieve within the timescale of the project, but think about where you want it to take you next. Typically most projects run their natural course due to funding coming to an end, and its success (especially when one it trying to expand knowledge in a given area) can be judged not only on its immediate output but also on what it leads to.


Sean O’Connor, Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Public Health, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Queen’s University Belfast