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Partnerships and networks

The OU is uniquely placed in providing a UK-wide network through our national and regional centres in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

We recognise the need to develop strong partnerships that form the basis of a mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationship, giving us a track record of successful partnerships with both large and small businesses and organisations.

We value working with the business sector, government bodies (locally, regionally and nationally) and the charitable sector. Our current partnerships and consortiums include:

  • MK:Smart, which is a large collaborative initiative, partly funded by HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England) and led by The Open University, which is developing innovative solutions to support economic growth in Milton Keynes. 
  • The Centre for Electronic Imaging at the Open University, which is a collaboration between the OU and e2v Technologies plc dedicated to the research and development of advanced technologies for electronic image sensing and provides knowledge exchange between the UK technology industry and academia.
  • The Open University's Centre for Policing Research and Learning is a growing collaboration with 18 police forces which involves pioneering engagement between academics and police practitioners. Funded by The Open University, member forces, and external grants, the Centre contributes to evidence-based practice and offers tailored education, research and knowledge exchange to improve UK policing.

We are connected to businesses through hosting sector specific events and by linking up to, for example, Knowledge Transfer Networks; the government's innovation agency, InnovateUK and the Enterprise Europe Network. Locally we engage with the South East Midlands Local Enterprise (SEMLEP).

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships 

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme is a part UK government-funded programme to help organisations improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills available within UK universities. 

A KTP is a partnership between a business or organisation, the OU, and a recent graduate, to undertake a dedicated project. 

Recent KTPs

  • We worked with Book Trust to digitalise their books.
  • We streamlined production activities for Executive Interviews.
  • We worked with Hallé to explore new media technologies to generate new income streams.
  • We worked with Hichrom Ltd to help them acquire and develop expertise in the synthesis of novel salines for their high-performance liquid chromatography columns.

A KTP is a low risk, cost-effective way of running a strategic project to create a return on investment for your company. You gain a talented, high-calibre graduate working for you full-time, plus the equivalent of half a day per week of input from world-leading academic experts, and the Government pays 50% or 67% of the basic costs.

To discuss how our graduates can help you and how you can access KTPs, contact the Enterprise team.