Students Staff

06 November 2014

Essex project leads to Business Leader of Tomorrow award

Miguel Martinez-Alvarez was named a Business Leader of Tomorrow at the national Best of the Best Awards organised by InnovateUK for his work on an Essex-led Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

As a KTP Associate Miguel has had a huge impact at London-based company Signal by helping develop the next generation of market intelligence through the project led by the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at Essex.

The innovative intelligence platform developed by Signal can be used in any market, sector or domain to follow industry news; monitor risk and opportunity; and track competitors.

InnovateUK – the new name for the Technology Strategy Board - funds, supports and connects innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth and its work includes supporting KTPs across the country.

David Benigson, Business Supervisor at Signal, told InnovateUK: “When I started Signal I had an idea there was a gap in the marketplace in the way businesses were able to access relevant information bring it into single repository and build a technology which was actually able to extract intelligence and insights in a meaningful way.”

Through the KTP, Miguel – who is now Head of Research at Signal - has helped develop the technology to deliver this service and also had a huge role in strategic planning, budgeting and fundraising at Signal. He has also built-up a team of researchers – helping create more than 10 new jobs.

This has included helping to pitch and deliver Signal’s product to a world-class think tank, resulting in a £500,000 contract over the next three years.

Miguel said: “The KTP is a fantastic programme and I am shocked that not as many companies especially SMEs are using it. I strongly encourage anyone who is driving innovation and development to apply as it is, in my opinion, a clear win-win for every single party involved.”

Dr Udo Kruschwitz and Professor Massimo Poesio at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at Essex have played a key role within the KTP. They are both world-leading experts in the information retrieval and natural language processing fields which are at the heart of this project.

Dr Kruschwitz said: ““This award is good for all the people involved. Miguel is a business leader of the future and this recognises he has been an extraordinary Knowledge Transfer Partnership associate.”

The University of Essex’s KTP programme is one of the most active in the Eastern region with Essex academics working with businesses across the world. The programme supports companies to access fresh ideas and talent by tapping into university expertise to innovate and drive their businesses forward.

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