Creating new partnerships and exchanging knowledge

London Metropolitan University is working with Ask Electronics in a partner knowledge exchange.
Date: 18 October 2017

The School of Computing and Digital Media at London Metropolitan University has partnered with Ask Electronics to successfully complete a further Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

The Partnership with Ask Electronics, a London-based store and online retailer of consumer electronics, has recently been awarded “Outstanding” by Innovate UK, the government organisation that supports businesses to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success.

London Met’s academic KTP leaders are Professor Karim Ouazzane, Professor of Computing and Knowledge Exchange, and Dr Preeti Patel, Head of Computer Science, who worked on the Partnership for over two years to support Dr Samson Habte, KTP Associate, to develop a sound technological solution for the company.

Professor Ouazzane, the University co-ordinator for KTPs, said: “KTPs are crucial for knowledge exchange. As a University, we want to make sure that our research is making a real-life impact.

“Partnering with commercial companies enhances our applied research portfolio, establishes a business environment within our research centres, further develops our teaching curriculum, creates opportunities for students and graduates to work on commercial projects within a business environment such as internships, work-related learning, sandwich placements and full employment, and generates good income.”

One of the objectives of this Partnership was to develop a data warehousing and forecasting system for identifying trends that facilitate effective sales operations, inventory planning, purchasing process, budget planning, resource planning and market analysis and insight for Ask Electronics.

London Met supported the company's decision-making processes to make increases in productivity for all sales channels, ensuring growth and sustainability. The company's valuable data and information assets are to be used to gain forecasting insights, leading to competitive advantage, in the volatile consumer electronics retail industry.

Dr Preeti Patel said: “These Partnerships bring the business and commercial world into the heart of the University, creating an environment of collaboration and innovation in which all partners can benefit.”

A spokesperson from Ask Electronics said: “Without doubt, if London Met had not contacted ASK in regard to the KTP, the company would have taken longer to achieve the strategies put in place. We fully appreciate the help provided by this partnership and the help of London Met's resources.”

Professor Ouazzane will now embark on new projects with partners such as Lloyds bank, Callsign and Paymentology to develop new cyber security and ‘Big Data’ infrastructure and technologies. This will, for the first time, be carried out both within the company environment to embed the innovative culture, and on the University campus to build a business environment and foster an entrepreneurship culture.