Universities are hitting the road to showcase how businesses can help boost their profits by working together.

Teams from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), University of Leicester and Loughborough University, University of Lincoln and Derby University are all taking part in roadshows from March 7 to 9.

They will be serving up business advice along with barista-style coffee at business parks and industrial estates in their cities and counties.

They will be speaking to companies about how they can access Government-funded support called Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) to identify new products and services that could help them innovate and grow their businesses.

KTPs are a three-way collaboration between a business, a university and a postgraduate who works in the business to solve a specific challenge. Up to 75% of the costs can be funded depending on the size and type of business.

The three-day tour, called Brewing Innovative Ideas: hot from the K ‘Tea’ P Van, starts on Tuesday, March 7 and will visit the following areas:

  • Loughborough Science and Enterprise Park (March 7)
  • Badger Farm Business Park, Derby (March 7)
  • Lincoln Science and Innovation Park (March 7)
  • Bishop Grosseteste University (March 7)
  • Sparkhouse Lincoln (March 7)
  • Tapton Park Innovation Centre, Chesterfield (March 7)
  • Dock, Leicester (March 8)
  • Pride Park, Derby (March 8)
  • Harborough Grow-On Centre (March 8)
  • Aura Skegness Business Centre (March 8)
  • RTC Business Park, Derby (March 8)
  • Grove Park, Enderby (March 9)
  • Boston Enterprise Centre (March 8)
  • Dunston Innovation Centre, Chesterfield (March 9)
  • Gloucester Crescent industrial estate, Wigston (March 9)    
  • Markham Vale Environment Centre (March 9)
  • Europarc Innovation Centre, Grimsby (March 9)

Free coffee vouchers will be distributed to businesses in the area inviting them to chat and find out how KTPs could benefit them. The teams will also be offering 1-2-1 follow ups.

Dr Rhianna Briars, Knowledge Exchange officer at DMU, said: “We are looking forward to getting out and about to businesses around the county next week and hearing the ideas for their businesses over a cuppa from our K Tea P van.

“KTPs can really deliver benefits for a business in terms of a new product or a new capability but many companies do not realise they are available and the support that’s available to help them through the application process.

“Our roadshow events will cover everything you need to know about KTPs, including how to apply for them, the types of initiatives that can be delivered, benefits to businesses, and much more.

“DMU, Loughborough and Leicester’s KTP teams all work very closely together. We all want to support our county’s businesses and we’d encourage businesses who want to talk to us to come along and meet us next week.”

This year’s Leicestershire Innovation Awards highlighted some of the successful projects which companies have worked on, from improving air quality to helping design robots to work in food factories.

The tour is part of a campaign by Innovate UK to get more businesses to be aware of and take up KTPs.