University partnership wins Knowledge Catalyst award

Loughborough University has worked in partnership with DJB Instruments (UK) since 2015, and the successful collaboration has been recognised by an EADT Business Award.

DJB was the winner in the Knowledge Catalyst category of the East Anglian Daily Times Business Awards.

The award celebrated the company’s growth strategy of actively seeking external knowledge and embedding it within the organisation to drive sustainable success and growth.

We caught up with DJB’s Managing Director, Neill Ovenden, to talk to him about the benefits of working with a university.



Tell us a bit about DJB – what does the company specialise in? 

DJB Instruments (UK)
is the UK’s only manufacturer of test and measurement accelerometers, cables and instrumentation, primarily for the R&D market across all industry sectors.

Originally founded in 1974, we’re enjoying sales growth from both UK and export business, in addition to leading global development of piezoelectric accelerometers through innovation and research with partners, including Loughborough University.

Tell us about your partnership with the University.

The collaboration was underpinned by a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which allowed us to explore the potential of wireless technology for our product range.

The success of our initial partnership has led to a broader, multidisciplinary relationship with new projects including a KTP with the University’s School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering as well as research with academics in the School of Business and Economics (SBE).

How else have you engaged with the University?

We’ve also taken part in the ESSAM programme, hosted by Loughborough’s SBE in June-July 2017. The participating students were assigned genuine business tasks to hone their skills and develop their knowledge.

One of these tasks was a live consultancy project for DJB – researching, preparing and presenting a business plan that explored the potential of new international markets for our products.

The detailed plan considered current market conditions, financial considerations, end-user market dynamics, sales strategy development, legal and tax issues, cultural considerations, and the competitive environment.

As well as supporting the students’ learning, the final business plan has been a really useful tool for us as we consider possible overseas expansion.


How has the partnership benefited your business?

We are proud to be working with Loughborough on the ground-breaking technology which led to the EADT award.

It’s a great university to work with, and its wide-ranging engineering and manufacturing base made it the ideal KTP partner for us and we look forward to continuing our collaborative endeavours going forward.