Aston University: Aston University and Partnership Medical Knowledge Transfer Partnership shortlisted for prestigious award

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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.

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