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25 January 2023

How Cardiff Metropolitan University Can Help Keep Businesses Innovative and Competitive in an Economic Crisis

Written by:

By Karl Couch,
Business Liaison Officer,
Cardiff Metropolitan University



It’s no secret that businesses are suffering. Rising energy bills, material costs, worker shortages, a lack of funding and cash-poor customers are all hurting the bottom line.

Faced with such challenges, it can seem impossible for businesses to remain competitive, let alone innovative.

But Britain’s brightest minds could hold the key to keeping innovation, creativity, productivity and profitability alive during these tough times.

At Cardiff Metropolitan University, we’ve joined forces with businesses across all sectors to share our knowledge and facilities to optimise their products and services.

Through initiatives such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and SMART Partnerships, we’ve helped businesses take that strategic step change.

A KTP is a partnership between a company, university and a graduate who work together to deliver a strategic project for the business which the company would be unable to do without the knowledge and expertise provided by the university. This can involve making improvements to existing products or developing new ones, streamlining processes, implementing new strategies and expanding into new markets.

It's a cost-effective way to boost an organisation, particularly given the access to technological, scientific or management expertise and specialist equipment and facilities. At Cardiff Met, businesses have developed exponentially after working alongside our International Centre for Design and Research (PDR), our ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre and our Fablab, to name just a few.

We recognise that the financial cost to SMEs of generating new ideas, technologies and processes to achieve competitive advantage can be high. Cardiff Met offers SMEs a range of schemes to drive their business forward. We understand businesses may have plans for growth but find it a challenge to find the right type of business support, or people with the right skills. Our Research and Innovation Services (RIS) team can identify the specific academic expertise required by an SME.

All sounds great – but what about the cost, especially when budgets are tight?

Here in Wales, until March 2023 the Welsh Government has pledged to contribute 75% towards the total costs of KTP projects for Welsh SMEs that meet the eligibility criteria for participation in the KTP programme. This means that eligible businesses in Wales have to contribute 25% rather than the usual 33%. This equates to a reduction in costs to the business from around £29,000 a year to around £23,0000 a year. Please note that exact costs are provided once a project is fully scoped out.

If you would like to know more about how Cardiff Met can help businesses thrive, please contact Karl Couch or visit our website.

For more information on KTPs offered by the university, see our case study videos at:


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