Lincoln Security innovated new software thanks to a KTP with the University of Lincoln...
Established in 1974 as a small locksmith’s shop, Lincoln Security is now the UK's most respected and valued security solutions provider. It is noted throughout the country for its quality installations and craftsmanship, supplying only the best parts while contributing to industry-wide innovation with award-winning products.
The firm serves individuals as well as large nationally recognised companies such as Siemens and National Grid.
Nandagopal Lakshminarayanan moved to the UK from India to begin a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Lincoln and Lincoln Security and hasn’t looked back.
A KTP is a relationship between a company and an academic which facilitates the transfer of knowledge, technology and skills which the company currently lacks. The national KTP scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow by linking them with a university to work on a specific project.
Nanda spent two years as a KTP associate and was fundamental in the innovation of new software for Lincoln Security, helping to develop a unique electronic key system called eLOQ.
“I joined Lincoln Security at a time when they were extremely successful in terms of hardware, but needed help with developing software in house,” said Nanda.
“At first I suffered a real culture shock coming to the UK, but I was so grateful for how much the KTP eased the visa process for me.”
Despite having some initial personal setbacks to overcome, Nanda threw himself into his role as a KTP associate and subsequently won the Business Leader of the Future award at Innovate UK’s KTP Best of the Best Awards 2015.
The eLOQ technology Nanda worked on eliminates the issues of keys being copied or lost because they are electronic and can therefore be easily administered using the latest computer technology.
The firm soon needed a platform from which to launch the new technology, which is how sister company Dynamic Access Solutions was born.
Now the Managing Director of Dynamic Access Solutions, Nanda is grateful for the opportunities the two-year KTP scheme offered.
“The KTP brought to life so many opportunities I would not otherwise have had and I think it plays an important role in exposing companies to a wealth of international talent.
“The programme is mutually beneficial as students are able to work on real projects in a real business scenario, while businesses gain access to up-and-coming innovators.”
Engaging in a KTP allowed Lincoln Security to take a risk they would not otherwise have been able to take because, although it wasn’t guaranteed to be a success, the programme is heavily backed by the university and the Government.
For example, 60% of Nanda’s salary was funded by the Government, which meant the firm could benefit from a high quality of workmanship without having to invest large amounts in a salary.
“Each region is assigned an advisor to help oversee the KTPs and I attended quarterly meetings with my supervisor, our manager and regional advisor to monitor my progress throughout the programme,” said Nanda.
As a start-up itself, Dynamic Access Solutions was able to grow together with the KTP.
As part of the KTP Lincoln Security also received support from students at the university, which allowed them to work on a real project in a real business scenario and gain some practical work experience to stand them in good stead for the future.
Nanda added: “If I were to be approached by an individual or a company looking to undertake a KTP I wouldn’t hesitate to highlight how good an opportunity it presents.
“The mutual benefits far outweigh any of the potential cons and without the KTP companies can miss out on the kind of expertise that could help propel them to software success.”