Clicksco and Durham University unite to create UK centre of digital excellence in the North East

First-of-its-kind Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to combine big data and mathematical expertise in a bid to develop cutting-edge technology.

 

Global one-to-one marketing specialist, Clicksco Group has joined forces with Durham University in a unique Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which aims to create innovative tools to better understand customer behaviour in the digital marketing sector.

Big data and digital expert, Clicksco formed in 2009 and has become renowned for its customer lead generation, web search and affiliate marketing services, working alongside partners including Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

The KTP will run out of its Middlesbrough office, utilising the Teesside team’s homegrown tech talent.

The two-year collaboration will bring together the Group’s digital data specialisms with the statistical knowledge of Durham University – which is ranked within the top five UK institutions for mathematics.

Through the exploration and development of Clicksco’s data analytic capability, the groundbreaking affiliation will, for the first time, enable the organisations to build a true insight into online consumer behaviour and characteristics; allowing Clicksco to access a rich understanding of the digital journey.

The development of this pioneering technology will consequently put the North East at the forefront of digital marketing innovation.

To achieve this, Clicksco will access the expertise of Dr Jonathan Cumming, director of the Statistics and Mathematics Consultancy Unit (SMCU) and lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Durham University.

As the KTP academic supervisor, Dr Cumming will be based at Clicksco’s Cleveland Business Centre site two days a month. The statistical modelling expert will join senior company leaders, head of technology, Dr Alistair McLean – a data science specialist, and data analytics and visualisation authority, Dr Mike Lockyer.

A recently-qualified graduate will complete the project team as a KTP Associate. The full-time role, funded by government innovation agency Innovate UK, will be based at Clicksco four days a week with one day spent at Durham University to utilise technology, research and data on campus.

“The associate role offers an extremely exciting opportunity for someone who is in the early stages of their career – it’s a once in a lifetime position and following completion of the project there is potential to join our team permanently,” said Dr Lockyer. “The KTP will focus on major areas of development within the digital sector. To be part of this project is something very special for all involved as together, we aim to drive the next era of technology.”

Richard Parker-Smith, Senior Business Development Manager at Durham University has been involved in establishing the KTP from the application stage and will oversee it over the next 24 months. The former Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Adviser for the North East of England said: “While there are KTPs focusing on various areas of big data, there are none like this project, making it unique to the university, Clicksco, and the UK. We believe this will help to put the North East on the map as a leader in this rapidly evolving field.

“For the university, this will not only allow the production of research papers and impact case studies to secure research funding, but discover new projects for students and teaching materials to bring learning to life – all of which contribute to maintaining Durham University’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading institutions.”

Dr Lockyer added: “In a world where we rely on innovation in technology to constantly push the boundaries of what we can achieve, the collaboration between Clicksco and Durham University epitomises this.

“By focusing on building unique tools to better understand customer behaviour, the KTP will allow Clicksco to extend its expertise as a data driven company while establishing the region as a digital leader.”