A mutually beneficial exchange of specialist skills, knowledge, and resources

A mutually beneficial exchange of specialist skills, knowledge, and resources

Global Invacom Ltd is an industry leader in satellite TV distribution & control, their product range includes: multi-switches, frequency converters, band and channel stackers, and ‘tvLINK’ – a complete in-home distribution system. Company ‘design firsts’ include: the low cost Low-Noise Block down-converter (LNB) for BSkyB and most recently the first cost effective ‘Optical LNB’. Key customers include BskyB, BT and the BBC.

Global Invacom (GI) recognise the challenges faced with skills shortages in their specialised field and the technical challenges caused by the explosion in internet video traffic. To address both these business critical issues, the Company approached the University of Hertfordshire to investigate how establishing links with the knowledge base might meet their needs. GI initially met with the Knowledge Transfer Team where it was quickly established that the School of Engineering & Technology had sufficient breadth of expertise to assist with many of the developments that GI were interested in.

In order to forge relationships GI embarked on a series of small R&D projects using the University’s own Knowledge for Business (K4Bi) engagement model. These projects involve employment, with academic supervision, of Masters or PhD students (interns) carrying out a project that compliments and informs their studies. Through these interventions, commercial and contractual protocols were established to cover Intellectual Property, Procurement, Project Management and Laboratory use.

Through this relationship the Business Development Director from GI was invited to sit on the UH Industry Advisory Panel to help shape future course content for graduate employment opportunities. The knowledge transfer was not just one way, as the School gained new insight into satellite communications which broadened their capability beyond the telecommunications sector.

As the relationship matured, developing a like-minded team of academics and industry engineers, GI took the opportunity to sponsor a 3-year PhD studentship to address their Long Term Evolution (LTE) needs in satellite over Broadband.

In March 2015, the collaboration was awarded a £198,000 project for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to develop a Fibre/Wireless (Fi/Wi) networking of Distributed Antenna Systems. The market opportunity is to provide a single network solution to overcome Broadband capacity blockages due to rapidly increasing video content delivery. Adding Digital DAS to GI’s capability will give them access to global deployments where overall market revenue is expected to reach $US 16Bn in 2016.
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