The partnership was so successful in meeting the shared objectives that it was awarded the highest grade of “outstanding” by the independent KTP Grading Panel. In addition, the research expertise and capability acquired during the KTP contributed to the award of a major research grant from an industrial sponsor.
Ansell Microgard Ltd now has a world-class UKAS accredited testing laboratory suitable for both quality control and R&D. Dr Draper is now Associate Director of Protective Clothing R&D, managing a team of five in the Hull laboratory as well as a wider team at the facility in China. The Hull laboratory has continued to develop and now also includes a wide range of material analysis capabilities to complement the R&D output.
The laboratory testing and R&D capabilities enabled the company to respond better to market needs, launching new protective clothing using improved barrier materials. This contributed to a doubling of turnover within 3 years and ultimately the acquisition by Ansell, whose global laboratory facilities complemented Microgard’s capabilities. Both Microgard and now Ansell have continued to invest in instrumentation to test the fabrics and the company has gone from strength to strength.
Dr Draper has collaborated in various work which has been published in several journals and is also an active member of Protective Clothing standards committees in the UK and in Europe. He is now an established expert in the field and regularly speaks at events.
As testament to the successful partnership, the collaboration between the company and the University continues to this day.