Kent Business School secures £190k funding for Port of Dover system optimisation project

A two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project between Kent Business School and Dover Harbour Board (Port of Dover) has been approved and funded by UKRI through Innovate UK.

This project, which will begin within nine months, sets out to optimise traffic flows and infrastructure investment at the port in response to evolving post-Brexit regulatory requirements and the implementation a new digital border.

The project is valued at £190,929 and will be led by Kent’s Professor Jesse O’Hanley and Professor Kathy Kotiadis, with Professor Maria Paola Scaparra providing additional support.

KTPs aim to help businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills within the UK academic sector.

KTPs are funded by UKRI through Innovate UK with the support of co-funders, including the Scottish Funding Council, Welsh Government, Invest Northern Ireland, Defra and BEIS. Innovate UK manages the KTP programme and facilitates its delivery through a range of partners including KTN, Knowledge Bases and Businesses. Each partner plays a specific role in the support and delivery of the programme.

Kent Business School’s Professor O’Hanley and Professor Kotiadis say: ‘We are delighted to be working with the Port of Dover on a second Knowledge Transfer Partnership and look forward to supporting them to realise their ambitious operational vision to enhance port operations and make continual improvements to the UK’s leading trade artery with the EU.

‘We aim to bring real value to this industry collaboration by applying and embedding advanced modelling techniques, which will help grow the business and guide new investment in border and check-in infrastructure and digitalisation. The real-world impacts this project will have on enhanced trade, reduced traffic congestion, and local air quality improvements are very exciting for us.’

Christian Pryce, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Dover explains: ‘Dover is delighted to collaborate with the University of Kent once again, utilising world-class expertise that’s on our doorstep to enhance the Port. This is the second such collaboration, following a highly successful partnership in 2016-18 to help boost traffic efficiencies through enhanced prediction of traffic volumes and subsequent infrastructure requirements.

‘Having previously achieved the highest possible rating from Innovate UK, the latest KTP will utilise simulation modelling to bring to life port-system traffic management through the use of real-time data and highlight where investment should be targeted, both tactically and strategically, to overcome regulatory, digitalisation and decarbonisation challenges. Importantly, this will not solely focus on flows inside the Port, but we will be working proactively with our stakeholders across the entire system. We can’t wait to get started.’

The University of Kent has an experienced and professional business and innovation gateway team which works with businesses to find the right expertise for their organisations.

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