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Successful partnership leads to creation of new pollutant testing kits


Academics from the University of Wolverhampton have been supporting Johnson Test Papers (JTP) to create novel portable pollutant testing kits.

The 30 month knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) project, which developed over 20 testing kits for pollutants in water, sewage, soils and gases, followed on from a previous successful KTP completed between the two organisations.

Faculty of Science and Engineering’s Dr Catherine Duke, Dr Edward John Mole and Professor Gary Hix supported University of Manchester MChem graduate Caitlin Foster, who worked as the project’s associate. A KTP associate is a graduate with a relevant degree who leads the project.

Caitlin brought a range of new skills and knowledge into the business while working alongside the research and development team, and academics, to create new products and update existing production and testing procedures.

Caitlin said: “The KTP gave me the opportunity to apply what I had learnt at university whilst still having access to support and guidance from academic supervisors.”

Principal Lecturer in Forensic Science and Chemistry Dr Edward John Mole added: “This has not been my first KTP, but it has been perhaps my most satisfying and I feel like I have made a real difference to the company, staff and UK PLC in general.”

The KTP has led to the development of over 20 testing kits for analysis of heavy metals and other water based pollutants.

These new kits have allowed Johnson Test Papers to increase their product portfolio as well as enter new markets being driven by growing environmental legislation and users’ awareness of the environmental impact of both the contaminants and the testing methods.

Dr Greg Mann, Research and Development Manager at Johnson Test Papers said: “This was our second KTP with the University of Wolverhampton.

“It has again provided a bridge between our manufacturing expertise and the knowledge provided by the associate, accelerating product development and allowing for greater opportunities worldwide.”

Improvements to business laboratory facilities also evolved during the partnership, including the installation of a new laboratory, giving a significant increase in the lab footprint.

Manufacturing improvements were also made to increase production capacity, such as the purchase of new warehouses, a strip cutting machine and a purpose-built paper impregnation machine.

Johnson Test Papers hope to continue working with the University of Wolverhampton through future placement opportunities and degree apprenticeships.

JTP has been manufacturing a wide range of pH indicator and test papers in the United Kingdom since the 1940s. These products provide immediate and accurate results for a number of applications.

From the previous KTP, graded outstanding, a new research and department was developed and over 30 new products were introduced to the JTP catalogue.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) aim to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills within the UK knowledge base. This KTP project was funded by UKRI through Innovate UK.

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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