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Sharing knowledge for business solutions

Coventry University is one of the top universities for working with business and we have invested heavily in providing support to organisations of varying sizes in a number of sectors both regionally and nationally. Support includes assisting new start-ups and working with established large enterprises on knowledge transfer and consultancy.

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NPL at the Royal Society summer science exhibition

Knowledge transfer is a way for businesses to access academic expertise to solve real-world problems. Coventry University has been working with industry on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships for many years and has developed hundreds of innovative, time-saving and cost-effective solutions.

One current project is the potential of smart clothing and wearable technology. Smart clothing can help people to navigate their surroundings by embedding GPS in fabrics, warm them up on a cold day through heat emitting sensors, or monitor the heartbeat of someone with a cardiac condition. Creating these ‘clever clothes’ can offer benefits to the environment as well as the economy.

To make smart clothing practical we need better ways to apply electronic circuitry to fabric, so it’s not impaired by stretching, flexing or repeated washing. Coventry University has partnered with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to develop a solution that could change the world of smart textiles.

Many conductive fabrics perform poorly when subjected to day-to-day stresses. The team are working on solutions that fully encapsulate fibres with metal to develop a process that is hardwearing and washable, without interfering with the wearability of the fabric.

The partnership brings together three elements, the company, academic expertise and a dedicated KTP associate, in this case, Dr Kathryn Wills.

Dr Kathryn Wills said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to see electronics being more easily integrated into clothing in the near future. It has the potential to be really influential in the healthcare and sports industries.’

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