Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership (HKEP)

Background
The University of Hertfordshire seeks commercial organizations in the life science areas, looking to innovate through early stage, collaborative research. The University has secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Deal, which will subsidise the contribution of commercial partners for the this new Knowledge Exchange scheme and collaborative PhD projects.

Scheme Overview
The company will benefit from a four-year PhD student, undertaking a collaborative research project with support from University academic supervisor(s) and company scientists. S/he will spend the first twelve months of the programme undertaking a Knowledge Exchange project within the company itself. Upon successful completion of this first year, the student will begin a three-year PhD research project in an area of interest to the company.

Knowledge Exchange project (Yr. 1): Overview and benefits

  • The student will be placed in the company undertaking one or more dedicated projects.
  • The company will have access to the specialist research facilities of the University for the duration of the HKEP project.
  • Dedicated support from a University of Hertfordshire academic; equivalent to an average 2 hr-per-week project supervision/consultancy for the HKEP period and a dedicated knowledge exchange advisor.
  • Each project will be targeted to establish new capabilities, proof-of-concept for new products and/or services, or expand your business’ capacity and market.
  • As well as contributing to the company, the student will develop an intimate understanding of your business and its commercial needs, as well as training to
    complete R&D work according to the company’s protocols and standards.
  • The student will undertake research training at the University on a day-release basis, complete formal technical report(s) on the HKEP project, prepare a PhD research proposal, and complete a formal performance review.

PhD Research project (Yr. 2-4): Overview and benefits

  • Following successful completion of the Knowledge Exchange year, the student will begin a three-year, PhD-level research degree based within the University of Hertfordshire.
  • The project being undertaken may be entirely collaborative between the University and the company, or alternatively may be developed by the student
    and University academics, with a company partner ensuring industrial/commercial relevance of the research programme.
  • Projects formulated by commercial partners will be subject to peer-review for their suitability towards the award of a PhD-level degree. In this case an academic partner will support the company for any amendments.
  • Each student will have an industrial and academic supervisor for the duration of their project.
  • The student may be required to access the company’s facilities and/or expertise during the projects.

Intellectual Property
This scheme is funded by ERDF and the Hertfordshire LEP and is therefore is subject to state aid requirements imposed by the funders.

Terms under this requirement will be discussed in full during the project scoping.

Cost of the programme
The average total cost of the full 4 year HKEP is £160,000.

This amount is heavily subsidised by ERDF, Hertfordshire LEP and the University of Hertfordshire, making the total company contribution only one third of the project costs. This averages at between £10,000 to £15,000 per year. These figures are based on average and all projects will be costed individually.

More information
For more information on the Hertfordshire Science Partnership visit their website at www.go.herts.ac.uk/HSP or contact us on hsp@herts.ac.uk or 01707 286406.

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