Keele University’s Business Gateway helps start-up business enter new markets

Stafford-based company, Innovative Testing Solutions – also known as ITS Test Kits – has gone from strength to strength with the help of Keele University’s Business Gateway.

Established in February 2018, ITS Test Kits focuses on solutions for the drug and alcohol testing markets, bringing high quality, accurate testing kits that have a considerably lower environmental impact than traditional testing kits. ITS Test Kits approached Keele University’s Business Gateway to take part in the Keele Research and Innovation Support Programme (KRISP)* and The Business Bridge Programme*. The fully-funded programmes worked in conjunction with each other providing access to business advisors, Keele academics and five students working with the business for up to 100 hours.

The KRISP project delivered in-depth research and analysis on the environmental effects of plastics in the industry and how Innovative Testing Solutions test kits, are helping to reduce the impact and create environmental awareness.

Company Director, Karl Davies, said: “The Keele University KRISP programme has been hugely beneficial to the business. I am extremely grateful for the support from Keele University helping us to launch one of the world’s first, virtually plastic free, quality point of care test kits.”

The Keele University Business Bridge programme utilised the research from KRISP to produce a series of informative animation videos. Showcasing ITS GreenCheck test kits, in the health and medical sector, that use a considerably lower amount of plastic when compared to market competitors, saving 1.5 tons of plastics for every 100,000 products used.

Karl continued: “2018 has been a great year. We won the environmental/low carbon category at Staffordshire Chamber Business Awards, acquired a strong network of clients and employed our lead student from the KRISP project part-time, to help with our marketing and social media. With that in mind, we are excited for what 2019 holds as we enter new markets and hope to build our relationship with Keele University, hopefully taking part in the second stage of the Business Bridge programme.

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent businesses can benefit from a range of specialist support and funding, more details of which are available through Keele University’s Business Gateway on 01782 733001 or by emailing business.gateway@keele.ac.uk.

ERDF portrait logo *Keele Research and Innovation Support Programme (ref:32R16P00711) and The Business Bridge programme (ref: 32R16P00713) are part-funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme.