Endoscopy equipment held by doctor
  • Knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) has been shortlisted for Best KTP Award at national awards
  • Automated cleaning device and materials that allow endoscopes to be cleaned directly from the clinic is one of three shortlisted for major award
  • Awards recognise the people and partnerships behind the UK’s most inspiring and successful KTP projects.

Aston University and Partnership Medical (PML) have been shortlisted for an award at the KTP Awards 2022. 

The partnership has been shortlisted in the category of Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership for its work on a revolutionary automated cleaning system which uses synthetic chemistry to sterilise endoscopes, reducing risks of contamination to patients and lowering rates of mortality.

A knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) is a three-way collaboration between a business, an academic partner and a highly qualified researcher, known as a KTP associate. The UK-wide programme helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills. Aston University is the leading KTP provider within the Midlands.

The KTP Awards recognise the people and partnerships behind the UK’s most inspiring and successful KTP projects. At present there are more than 800 inspiring collaborations happening across the country.

Endoscopes are long, thin tubes with a light and camera at one end. Due to the sensitivity of the materials and electronics they cannot be sterilised, opening up high potential for cross infection. Through their automated cleaning system, Aston University and PML achieved industry-leading levels of disinfection, reducing risks of contamination to patients and lowering rates of mortality.

The automated prototype and new cleaning materials developed in the KTP produced astonishing results in clinical trials, with a simple five-minute treatment offering deep cleaning levels 1,000 times better than anticipated, providing hygiene levels far superior to those currently possible using conventional manual procedures

Mark Smith, executive director of business and regional engagement at Aston University, said:

"It’s truly wonderful that Aston University has been formally recognised as a sector leader for knowledge transfer programmes, reflecting the scale and quality of our work with business. Making the shortlist is a recognition of our continued growth and sustained achievements in the knowledge exchange area.

“The Aston University and Partnership Medical project has resulted in a far more effective medical cleaning system that ensures that endoscopes are truly sterile, which will ultimately save lives. This is just one example of the University’s real-world support for businesses and their customers. 

“It is an honour to be considered for best KTP at such a prestigious event, especially when knowledge exchange activity is at a high, with over 800 collaborations happening across the UK.”

Partnership Medical Ltd (PML), based in Stoke-on-Trent, are specialists in supplying cleaning equipment and consumables for flexible endoscopes with over 20 years of distributor experience.

The company aims to become a leading manufacturer/provider for endoscopic departments in clinics and hospitals worldwide.

The Aston University team who worked on the KTP included Dr Andy Sutherland, reader in organic chemistry and member of the Aston Institute of Materials Research, Dr Tony Worthington, associate professor in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases and member of the Biosciences Research Group together with KTP associate, Dr Thien Duong, an expert in synthetic chemistry. 

The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 12 of October in Liverpool and will be streamed online for those unable to attend in person. 

Notes to editors

This project is co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Watch our short film to see how it works and visit our website for examples of KTP in action at Aston.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7557 745416 or email: r.hume@aston.ac.uk 

To find out more about how your business can benefit from working with Aston University, please email rke@aston.ac.uk or call 0121 204 4242

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Loer Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world. 


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