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Our Partnership with GSA Environmental Limited

GSA Environmental Limited, based in Brigg, North Lincolnshire, is one of the latest businesses to have transformed its operations and formed a partnership with the University of Lincoln after benefiting from several initiatives offered through the university’s programmes including the KTP initiative and the Innovation Programme for Greater Lincolnshire.

What is KTP?

KTP stands for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – a world-leading programme that helps businesses succeed by connecting them to the UK’s rich academic resources. It’s a partnership between the business seeking expertise, a university, and a recently qualified graduate – known as an Associate.

KTPs help to facilitate growth by providing links to the expertise businesses need to grow and gain a competitive edge as well as the funding to achieve this. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and large companies from any sector can apply.

The situation

GSA Environmental Limited is an engineering consultancy with strong front-end engineering design, project management and process safety consultancy capabilities. The company’s relationship with the University of Lincoln dates back to 2013 when the team approached Dr Jose Gonzalez-Rodriguez and colleagues at the university, given their expertise in extraction and recovery of metals, for advice on ways to improve their research and analytical capabilities.

A core focus of the company is extracting valuable metals from different waste sources as an expression of its commitment to a strong recycling ethos. The research that was being carried out at the time by the university’s academics, and their knowledge of hydrometallurgical extraction, was widely used by the company to enhance the team’s knowledge and expand its technology.

The team then approached the University of Lincoln’s Industrial Partnerships team in 2015 for support with an upcoming project.

The company, whose mission is to be the first-choice provider for those seeking technological solutions to environmental problems posed by toxic metals in waste products, needed a solution to develop an innovative, cost-effective process for generating vanadium electrolyte from waste materials.

Two years later, the firm was once again able to benefit from the KTP initiative in 2017 which supported its project relating to the extraction of V205 from secondary waste sources.

In 2018 the Innovation Programme for Greater Lincolnshire, which was funded by the European Regional Development Fund, issued grant funding to GSA Environmental Limited, which the firm used to purchase equipment for manufacturing Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs). This novel technology helped to reduce extraction costs, gave the company a competitive advantage and helped to enhance its commercial portfolio.

The University of Lincoln has developed an ongoing relationship with GSA Environmental Limited and is currently working with the company to approve it as a commercial partner for the university’s research.

As part of this ongoing relationship the university is always exploring other avenues for funded collaboration to support the company with its future ambitions.

Lee Thomson – Finance Director and Shareholder

“Overall, our relationship with the University of Lincoln has been very valuable; their research in metal extraction has enabled us to extend our business activities sufficiently to attract investors (AKGH from Saudi Arabia) to acquire a substantial part of the company.

“This has had a great impact for us, not only in terms of financial stability, but also in terms of the overseas business opportunities and global visibility.”