From window cleaning to waterless aircraft cleaning, a top rated Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Vale of Glamorgan based business ‘Window Cleaning Warehouse’ and Cardiff Metropolitan University sparks innovation in new markets and wins the Partnership Category at the Insider Media Ltd Business and Education Partnerships Awards 2017.

The Business and Education Partnership Awards celebrate the best examples of collaborative work between Welsh business and education. The Award, which was presented in November 2017, was in recognition of Cardiff Met’s successful two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Vale of Glamorgan-based manufacturer of professional window cleaning systems, Window Cleaning Warehouse (WCW). This KTP had previously been recognised for its excellence by receiving a Grade A from Innovate UK making it a top rated UK KTP.

Matthew Taylor, Director of Innovation at Cardiff Met said: “We are delighted that this partnership has been recognised as a top rated KTP and a model of best practice at the Insider Business and Education Partnership Awards.

“Our partnership with Window Cleaning Warehouse is an excellent example of how the expertise within Cardiff Met can be applied directly to influence business growth. We were able to apply research-led solutions in a real-world setting to deliver tangible financial benefits to the company.”

The partnership capitalised on years of knowledge within the company and the expertise of Cardiff Met academics from the Cardiff School of Art and Design to develop, perfect, and test an innovative waterless cleaning process appropriate for the external surface of aircraft. The KTP achieved the overarching aim of embedding research and development capabilities in Window Cleaning Warehouse in order for the company to offer new services and access new markets. It resulted in a Boeing-certified product solution for Window Cleaning Warehouse to sell to airlines.

“We have formed a good relationship between ourselves and Window Cleaning Warehouse. The company has prospered and we have gained much better insights into the issues faced by the UK’s SMEs. The results have been both satisfying and rewarding.”  Bethan Gordon, Cardiff School of Art and Design Deputy Dean

Stephen Fox from WCW said: “We identified a market need for innovative aircraft cleaning services, and a potential solution – however successfully developing this solution would involve gaining access to aircrafts for on-going user testing – which is understandably restricted.

“Through the KTP, we were able to utilise a facility called the Perceptual Experience Laboratory (PEL) at Cardiff Metropolitan University. PEL is a mixed-reality facility that allows product testing contexts to be simulated very realistically within hours” Stephen added. “We used PEL as a vehicle for practical, fast and low cost user testing. We worked closely with the project team at Cardiff Met throughout the course of the project and believe it has been a hugely beneficial experience for all involved.”


This article first appeared in the 2018 State of the Relationship report, commissioned by Research England and compiled and published by NCUB.