The Technology Strategy Board has just awarded The National Archives our first Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). The programme provides funding for a partnership between a company and an academic institution or research organisation, serving as a ‘knowledge base’. The KTP programme is designed to inject new thinking and expertise into business, and help develop more robust and informed responses to business priorities. It is currently funded by 15 government organisations and led by the Technology Strategy Board. Each partnership is part-funded by Government with the balance of the costs coming from the company partner.
This is the first time The National Archives will be entering into a KTP since being granted the status of a Knowledge Base in 2012. We will be working with The IMC Group, which incorporates the Hanwell range of intelligent environmental monitoring and control products that accurately measure and monitor areas with potential risk of damage within museums, galleries, historic buildings, libraries and archives. The National Archives has been awarded 67% of the cost of the project by the scheme and the IMC Group will contribute the remaining 33% to the project as company partner. The project will see the transfer of our knowledge and expertise in collection care to develop specialised software for risk-based assessment of environmental conditions in storage of cultural heritage collections, aiming to incorporate energy considerations, emerging standards and scientific knowledge.
The project will contribute to our organisational research priorities around ‘caring for collections’ as the software that will be developed has the potential to streamline the overall management of environmental conditions within the repositories, as well as to develop preservation benefits. It also ties into our priority around ‘leading the archive and information sector’ as the project could provide a tool for easy and consistent evaluation of environmental conditions in places of deposit and other archives.
The partnership will employ a recently qualified Associate who will be based at the IMC Group, and the Knowledge Base supervisor will be Kostas Ntanos, Head of Conservation Research and Development. This project will last for two years and we will begin recruitment for a Knowledge Transfer Associate soon.
More information will be available in the coming weeks on The National Archives’ website. We are really excited to be embarking on such an innovative project and look forward to exchanging ideas and building relationships with both partners.