New product development is child's play with Knowledge Transfer
Published Monday 6th June 2011
The development of an innovative new range of children's toys by award winning UK toy company John Crane Ltd, has been made possible by a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).
For over a quarter of a century, Northampton based John Crane Ltd has been selecting toys for distribution throughout the UK, representing brands such as Pintoy, Pin Furniture, Lilliputiens, GoGo Toys and, more recently, their own brand Tidlo.
Now, with the help of the KTP project, the company is expanding into the design and development of its very own range of wooden toy products including storage boxes, scooters and role-play aids for launch early next year.
For many years we have sourced collections of quality wooden toys from abroad, marketed and distributed them throughout the UK, successfully building a strong business and playing a significant part in the growing resurgence in the popularity of wooden toys.
But in preparation for future growth, we believe that it is essential for us to develop our own unique range of quality products and the KTP is enabling us to research new markets and embed a solid new product development process for the future.Managing Director of John Crane Ltd, Jonathan Thorpe
The KTP allows John Crane Ltd to access The University of Northampton's academic expertise and a wealth of cutting-edge resources including design expert Randle Turner and a specialist team from the School of The Arts. They will be on hand throughout the contract to advise on the project and help to supervise graduate, Ajom Khan, who has been specifically recruited to develop the new products.
The KTP programme allows businesses with a long-term strategic challenge to access the academic resources of the University so that they can improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance.Barri Stirrup, KTP Co-ordinator at The University of Northampton
The KTP will encompass all stages of the new product development process from market research, embedding creative technologies, designing appropriate toys and testing prototypes before ultimately producing and launching the new products, planned for January 2012.
The partnership with John Crane demonstrates the benefits of knowledge transfer between the University and commercial organisations, enabling John Crane to develop its processes and produce a range of unique toys capable of stimulating a child's physical skills and helping them to develop their imagination.Barri Stirrup
There are opportunities within numerous sectors for a KTP to add expertise, innovation and value to any business. Business sectors qualifying for assistance from the programme include electrical systems, electronics, high value manufacturing, food and drink, information and communications, creative industries, healthcare and transport.
To find out more about how your organisation can benefit from a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with The University of Northampton, contact the Business and Commercial Services section on 01604 893300, email email@example.com or visit www.northampton.ac.uk/business-community.