A service to businesses: how the University of Hertfordshire supported Extremis Technology and Demco Europe

A service to businesses: how the University of Hertfordshire supported Extremis Technology and Demco Europe

Extreme weather simulation and statistical modelling were just two of the services offered via the university’s business support team.

This case study orginally appeared on page 24 of the State of the Relationship 2014. The report outlines the state of university-business collaboration in the UK, featuring expert views and over forty case studies. Read the full report.

The University of Hertfordshire’s business services team provide access to dedicated expertise, leading facilities and support from talented graduates helping businesses to grow.

Two recent success stories of how the university supports businesses are provided by Extremis Technology Ltd and Demco Europe Ltd.

Extremis Technology designs, develops and builds transitional shelters for population displacements due to war or adverse weather conditions. It plays a pivotal role in disaster relief providing robust shelters for those in need.

The company has developed two transitional shelters designed to be flat packed and portable - ideal for easy distribution and set up. Their main purpose is to provide high quality shelter for displaced people that can also withstand hurricane force winds.

While the team at Extremis had spent significant time on the innovative design, they needed independent, high quality testing to validate their performance claims before the shelters were accepted in the market. The University of Hertfordshire was an obvious choice and partnered up with Extremis Technology to test and validate the performance of the hurricane shelters under simulated extreme conditions.

The university supported the business by carrying out ‘Computational Fluid Dynamics’ (CFD) testing which helped to determine the maximum wind speed that the shelters could withstand. A detailed report was provided to Extremis Technology and possible improvements to the shelters were discussed. The university also created and supplied numerous 3D animations to showcase findings.

The outcomes of the project provided Extremis Technology with robust and validated data to support the performance claims of their innovative transitional shelters.

Extremis sees this as a long-term partnership and intends to work with the team again in 2014 on their next shelter project.

“Everything went so much better than we could have hoped for and we are moving rapidly toward overseas deployment, months before we have originally expected.” Andy Gowen, Operations Director at Extremis

Demco Europe Ltd offer a wide range of resources, specialist supplies, furniture and innovative design to library and education professionals in the UK, Europe and internationally. The University of Hertfordshire’s market research service was approached to assist Demco in identifying market changes, behavioural developments and the impacts of reform on procurement and financial patterns.

The university conducted a two-phase study involving a pilot followed by a national study in nine regions. The research methods focused on qualitative data analysis and thematic approaches to disseminate the key inferences and patterns.

In addition, researchers conducted an extensive literature review and audit to explore market developments and statistics covering the reform. Statistical modelling and mapping was exploited to ensure the research was significantly representative.

The research provided key insights with pragmatic values for the businesses, informing their business systems and empowered alignment with academy procurement processes, strategies and suitable routes to market.

“They went above and beyond our expectations to deliver an outstanding presentation and detailed report. I would have no hesitation in recommending their market research service to other businesses.” Demco Europe  

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