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Archive for the ‘Knowledge Exchange’ Category

Reboot for City Region’s Low Carbon Sector

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

New leadership team to drive the region’s low carbon sector forward

Significant changes are underway within Sheffield City Region’s low carbon sector – the team responsible for representing the sustainability and low carbon sectors across the Sheffield City Region have chosen three new Chairs to lead the group for the next 12 months. The Group will also be rebranded to become the Sustainability Partnership for Business, Innovation and Skills Group.

Professor Lenny Koh (University of Sheffield), Oliver Coppard (Sheffield City Region LEP) and Teresa Hitchcock (DLA Piper) will represent the education, public and private sectors respectively as co-chairs of the group, elected by their peers from the sector.

Professor Koh said:

“We’re really thrilled to be taking on the challenge of driving this sector forward in Sheffield City Region. Given what is going on at a national and international level, the opportunity to develop a thriving, growing sector could not be bigger or more exciting.

“Over the coming weeks and months our priority will be to listen to as many voices as we can from across the region’s businesses, innovation hubs, local authorities and third sector organisations, so that we know exactly what our industry needs from the Sheffield City Region if we’re going to move forward.

“With the Northern Powerhouse and the devolution agenda moving forward so quickly, there is a real, once in a generation chance to get the support from government that our low carbon sector needs. There are some big challenges ahead, but with the right support we really can exploit our well-earned global reputation for excellence and innovation.”    

The Partnership will continue feeding into the Sheffield City Region growth plan, through initiatives such as the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), run by Professor Koh, Teresa Hitchcock will represent the Partnership at the Local Enterprise Partnership Sector Group meetings and Oliver will link in and ensure good collaboration with local and national public sector bodies.

Over the coming months, the new Chairs of the Partnership have committed to a ‘leadership and learning’ model, engaging with the wider low carbon sector through a series of events and meetings across the region.

The first outing for the new look group will be at the launch of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre’s (AREC) SCEnAT+ tool in London on the 24 Sept 2015 sponsored by Microsoft. The AREC is a University of Sheffield project led by Professor Koh that seeks to develop resource efficiency within the advanced materials and manufacturing, energy, agritech and food, healthcare and transport industries.

Digital healthcare innovation comes to Sheffield

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Forty enterprising young people from across Europe are in Sheffield to kick-off a series of EU-funded workshops, aimed at training and developing innovative ICT entrepreneurs.

The delegates, from 19 countries, are using their time on the Startify7 project at the University of Sheffield to work on entrepreneurial ideas around digital healthcare. After spending last week developing concepts in teams, they will do further refinement and pitch to a panel of judges on Thursday.

Three teams who are deemed to have the most innovative ideas then attend a follow-up workshop in Brussels in September. Professor Tim Vorley, Chair in Entrepreneurship at Sheffield University Management School, is leading the project which was funded by a European Commission Horizon 2020 grant. He said: “It’s so inspiring to see budding entrepreneurs explore the complex but burgeoning world of digital healthcare innovation. The international nature of the project ensures that we’re considering cultural and budgeting factors and all attendees are benefitting from a global exchange of ideas.

“This is the first in a full programme of workshops to be held all over Europe, at partner organisations in Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands. I have taught on this programme, alongside my colleagues Dr Robert Wapshott and Kate Penney, and it’s been amazing hearing the initial ideas coming from teams, exploring areas such as innovative delivery through the use of drones, and digital products such as apps for vulnerable groups such as the elderly or disabled.”

Held at the Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS), delegates are working with staff from relevant University of Sheffield research teams such as CREED (the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development) and ScHARR (the School of Health and Related Research) to build on their ideas and benefit from academic expertise in the fields of healthcare and innovation. They also visited the Digital Catapult Centre in London to hear about the work of technologists working at the frontiers of digital healthcare.

A visiting tutor on the workshop, Jorge Gonzalez from partner project GET Health, summed up the timely nature of Startify7: “Events like this are integral to challenging and developing the future of digital health in Europe. It is vital that we engage a bright, technically minded generation in innovations for this area of research as, given the pace of digital, their ideas may be changing lives in just a few years’ time.”

Find out more about Startify7 and its up-coming European workshops here: www.startify7.eu

A clear approach to new ideas: Dr Kamal Birdi’s work highlighted by the ESRC

Friday, July 24th, 2015

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His work on creativity and innovation in the workplace has gained momentum over the last decade, and with the launch of a CLEAR IDEAS iPad app earlier this year, Dr Kamal Birdi’s work on the framework is starting to make a significant impact on public services in the Sheffield City Region.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have highlighted Kamal’s study as a key impact case-study on their website, focusing on how the CLEAR IDEAS innovation development model has improved cost-efficiency in service delivery for public sector organisations, leading to savings of £1.7million for social care services in Sheffield.

Click here to read the whole article on the ESRC website.

Kamal explained the benefits of the CLEAR IDEAS framework to us: “CLEAR IDEAS is a way of tackling problems more creatively. It’s not just a way of helping you come up with more ideas; it will also help you pick which ideas to take forward and will assist you in putting those ideas into practice more effectively.

“Lots of innovations or creative efforts fail because the individual doesn’t come up with enough original ideas, doesn’t know how to pick which ideas to take forward, can’t get buy-in to their ideas or know how to implement them.

“As a result, some potentially great ideas fail because creativity and innovation aren’t taken into account well enough. So what the CLEAR IDEAS approach does is it helps develop the skills and knowledge in people in terms of how to tackle problems creatively, and come up with an innovation. The app is a way of embedding that process that you can carry out yourself – give it a problem, and it will take you through ten steps you need to go through to come up with new ideas, picking those ideas, and coming up with a strategy for implementing them.”

The ESRC also highlighted Kamal’s contribution to the Festival of Social Sciences 2013 in this document (page 31).

Now Kamal has trained over 1,000 individuals worldwide, the benefits have become tangible – key successes from the ESRC piece are highlighted below:

  • An estimated £1.7million saving was made by Sheffield City Council by introducing cost-effective and more efficient practices in the delivery of adult social care services.
  • South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue used CLEAR IDEAS’s creative-thinking techniques to make improvements in the fitting of 19,000 smoke alarms, with a cost-saving in materials alone of 3p per unit. In addition, the simple and effective solution which was adopted led to a reduced need for trained staff when refitting previously poorly-installed smoke alarms.
  • CLEAR IDEAS techniques were used to influence the adoption of an alternative drug for gastric medication in Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. Savings of £10,000 per year were estimated to have been made by the Trust, due to more accurate administration, dosage and patient compliance.
  • A training resource including the CLEAR IDEAS model was developed in 2010 to enhance the leadership and skills of public sector managers and employees. Since introduction, 216 people from local councils, NHS Trusts, the police, fire and rescue service, educational institutions and other local services have participated.

Find out more about Kamal’s research here, and download the app for your iPad here.

 

An international experience – WOERRC introduces students to global leadership in Geneva

Friday, March 27th, 2015

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This week’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) governing body meeting in Geneva had comprehensive representation from Sheffield University Management School’s staff and students.

Working with Global Learning Opportunities in the Social Sciences (GLOSS), Professor Jason Heyes and Dr Thomas Hastings from the Work, Organisation and Employment Relations Research Centre (WOERRC) at the Management School have taken a group of Management and Politics students to the event.

Prof Heyes explained: “The ILO is a United Nations organisation that is responsible for developing and promoting international labour standards and helping its 185 member countries to promote decent work. It is governed on a tripartite basis by governments, employer bodies and trade unions from its member countries. Its governing body meeting develops policy recommendations that are then discussed and ratified at the International Labour Conference.

“As Director of WOERRC, I have a longstanding relationship with the ILO. The students have listened to debates regarding the global challenges facing the ILO, freedom of association, legal issues and international development. Thanks to my connection with the ILO, and the efforts of Sian Parkinson from GLOSS, they have met with ILO officials to discuss social dialogue, migration and employment and have also met an ILO intern – Aaron Booth – who is a former MSc Human Resource Management student from the Management School, recommended to the ILO by myself.

“The students will write a number of policy briefs on issues discussed during the trip. These will be disseminated via WOERRC and GLOSS and will also be highlighted at an event in Westminster on 15 June, which will be attended by PVC of the Faculty of Social Sciences Professor Gill Valentine and to which officials from the ILO and relevant UK organisations will be invited.”

The opportunity to attend this year’s governing body meeting was advertised to final-year BA Business Management and International Business Management students, as well as those on the MSc Human Resource Management and MSc International Business programmes. Prof Heyes and his team selected BA Business Management & Economics student Dean Broomhead as an attendee on the basis of a strong application which highlighted his interest in the ILO and his knowledge of its remit and activities.

We asked Dean what encouraged him to apply for the trip: “Primarily, my motivation behind applying was the fact that this was an incredible, unique opportunity. To have such an experience I believed would not only enhance my wider knowledge but also increase my employability.

“There hasn’t been a single ‘typical’ day at the event. We’ve had the flexibility to tailor our time to areas that we found interesting. Over the course of the trip, I’ve sat in on governing body meetings discussing a vast array of issues and had the opportunity to speak to ILO employees on their fields of expertise. We’ve also visited several other United Nations buildings. Two particular stand-out moments would be visiting ‘the palace of nations’ (the UN headquarters) as it was great to see the history and importance of such a place, and secondly sitting in on the governing body meetings of the ILO, with regards to accusations and breaking of conventions. I was able to see true diplomacy in action on several controversial and topical issues.

“I can certainly relate much of what I’ve learnt back to my degree. Whilst the wider awareness and experience is obviously fantastic, I now have a greater understanding of many topics that I can specifically convey in to my work at University. With relation to career prospects, I am certain this will help me. Not only have I had the chance to grow my network, but also the opportunity to develop many transferable skills.”

Dean found out about the opportunity through his Industrial Relations module, but there was plenty of email correspondence and promotion around the School – he encourages his peers to pay attention to such opportunities: “Whilst sometimes they can be on barely noticeable emails, there are opportunities do things like this through the Management School and I haven’t regretted any moment here. I’m a firm believer in saying yes to any opportunities like this. I doubt many students in the UK or even globally have had the chance to work in agencies of the United Nations and brush shoulders with diplomats and specialists alike.”

The ILO is an international organisation and this has been a fantastic opportunity for students to learn about the work, employment and employment relations challenges facing different countries around the world and to gain a better understanding of how policies are developed and implemented. Keep an eye out for similar opportunities through GLOSS and WOERRC.

http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/gloss

http://www.woerrc.group.shef.ac.uk/

Outreach to India – Dr Kumar publicises the green agenda

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Niraj Kumar

Dr Niraj Kumar, lecturer in logistics and supply chain management at Sheffield University Management School (pictured above, front row wearing blue shirt), has been passing on his expertise to schoolchildren in the state of Jharkhand, India.

They invited him to talk about his experience in sustainability, and Dr Kumar hopes that by passing on this information, a new generation of Indian youngsters will be more aware of the issues affecting our planet.

He said: “Over the summer, I was involved in educational outreach activities with a school (Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir) in a small town known as Hazaribag in the state of Jharkhand, India. I was invited to visit the school, and to interact with more than 250 students of 11-15 years age. The purpose of my visit was to inform and encourage young students to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives, in a friendly and interactive environment.

“Developing countries like India are often criticised for poor performance on sustainability indicators, and I believe that the real change can only be made by working with young children, who can not only change their own practices but can also influence their parents to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives. If we really want to provide a greener and cleaner earth to future generations, we must need to develop ‘green thinking’ in young minds.”

Dr Kumar enjoyed his visit, and plans to return in 2015.

Management School at the 2014 ESRC festival: Find out more

Friday, October 31st, 2014

Next week, Sheffield academics take to the floor and open their research up to the general public, thanks for the 2014 ESRC Festival of Social Sciences.

The Management School is hosting a number of seminars as part of the event, which runs from 1-8 November – all of which support the School’s Mission to promote socially responsible work practices and have a positive impact on organisations and society throughout the world.

On Monday 3 November, Professor Lenny Koh brings her substantial expertise in supply chain management and resource efficiency to the Management School’s Hitchcock Boardroom. In a session from 9-10:30am, Prof Koh will discuss the University’s new Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC) which combines the our expertise in supply chain management, advanced materials, agritech and energy to produce a unique, world-class research facility.

As the leader of AREC, Prof Koh is an renowned expert in this field so the event could be of great benefit to businesses interested in ‘Improving Supply Chain Efficiency and Competitiveness under Resource Scarcity’. Her second session on Monday could also be extremely useful: ‘Promoting Sustainable Supply Chain Growth by Research and Innovation Exploitation’. Here organisations could learn how working with AREC, or the CEES and LSCM research centres could benefit them, with particular focus on the SCEnAT tool.

Book onto Prof Koh’s sessions here:

http://management.sheffield.ac.uk/events/improving-supply-chain-efficiency-competitiveness-resource-scarcity/

http://management.sheffield.ac.uk/events/promoting-sustainable-supply-chain-growth-research-innovation-exploitation/

On Tuesday 4 November, Dr Tina McGuinness discusses her expertise in business risk for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), with a particular focus on flooding.

Dr McGuiness will explore the issues SMEs are faced with around flood hazard and how best to prepare your business for this. Sheffield suffered a major flooding event in 2007 which impacted upon a significant number of SMEs, particularly located around the Lower Don Valley. This event will give relevant stakeholders from business and policy the opportunity to hear about the latest research into flood impacts upon SMEs.  It will help you gain insights into the factors that facilitate and enhance resilience to flooding as well as those issues which can exacerbate business vulnerability to the impacts of a major disruption such as flooding

Book on to the events, titled ‘Business as (un)usual: flood risk and SMEs’, here:

http://management.sheffield.ac.uk/events/business-unusual-flood-risk-smes-breakfast-event/

Finally, on Wednesday 5 November, Dr Geoff Nichols touches on a very current subject – the transfer of public lecture facilities, such as libraries, to volunteers.

The event will share Dr Nichols’ research findings on the transfer of delivery of local leisure services from local government to volunteers.

The event provides him with an opportunity to disseminate the results of research into the process of transfer of public leisure facilities; including sports centres, libraries and museums; towards delivery by volunteers.  This transfer is happening rapidly – mainly in response to funding cuts – and it will continue.

There are a number of relevant speakers attending the event. You can see the full list of speakers, and book your place, here:

http://management.sheffield.ac.uk/events/transfer-public-leisure-facilities-volunteer-delivery-exploring-good-practice/

 

Organisations benefit from the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC)

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Lenny Koh AREC

 

The launch of the Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre (AREC), led by Professor Lenny Koh from Sheffield University Management School, has captured the attention of organisations looking to improve their sustainable credentials, both locally and on a national scale.

AREC has been formed as a facility to promote collaboration between industry and academics who can help introduce resource efficiency and sustainability across supply chains. It also offers a platform for access to policy makers and focuses on four main industries: Advanced Materials and Manufacturing; Energy and Nuclear; Water; and Agritech/Food.

Professor Koh together with her exceptional team across Faculties and disciplines, taken from leading industry and academia, have identified a number of issues affecting the development of resource sustainable supply chains in large organisations including getting support from the board for sustainability improvements, unless there is a legal requirement or financial benefit. AREC also recognises that Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) need to overcome supply chain challenges so gives them the opportunity to collaborate with larger industrial partners to benefit from their cutting edge academic research and skills – this endeavour fits directly with current Government and EU policies.

Industry partners include the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Tata Steel, Unilever and DLA Piper – in collaborations overseen by Professor Koh’s team, organisations of every size can benefit from their expertise and resources.

It is AREC’s view that long-term success lies in achieving a fair and sustainable balance between rewarding all stakeholders in a business, not just the shareholders. With this approach, customers, suppliers, employees and the community in which the business operates should benefit.

‘Green’ and sustainable organisational elements are becoming increasingly important to reputation, and investors are developing a longer-term view on their partners – if firms are seen to be neglecting these vital criteria, customers may choose to go to a competitor that is doing them well.

AREC will support businesses in considering development in these areas, and will provide resources and partnerships with which to do so. Professor Koh said: “I am delighted to be leading this Centre. The calibre of our industrial and academic partnerships speaks millions about the attention and investment the University is putting into our initiative.

“Sustainability and socially-responsible work practices are built into Sheffield University Management School’s mission statement, so my involvement and that of my Management colleagues is very relevant. This initiative sits well strategically with the specific research priority of the Faculty of Social Sciences on climate change and sustainable growth. The translational and cross disciplinary nature of the AREC work in partnership with industry, departments and Research Centres from the Faculties of Social Science, Science and Engineering, as well as the University’s AMRC and Nuclear ARMC, is connecting lower TRL and higher TRL activities together for greater societal impact.”

To find out more about the AREC, visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/arec, or email s.c.l.koh@sheffield.ac.uk.

www.sheffield.ac.uk/arec
www.sheffield.ac.uk/management

IWP Conference welcomes the world

Friday, August 1st, 2014

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The Institute of Work Psychology (IWP) held its fourth biennial International Conference at the end of June. The event was a huge success with four renowned keynote speakers, over 200 delegates from across six continents, and a range of cutting-edge research presentations in the areas of work, wellbeing, leadership and performance.

Oliver Weigelt, from the University of Hagen, said of the conference: “It had great networking opportunities, intriguing papers and excellent organisation – as well as a taste of Yorkshire. In the most positive way, an unforgettable event.”

Popular topics at the conference included health, stress and wellbeing; leadership; entrepreneurship; teamwork; creativity and innovation; the dark side of organisations; careers and development; unemployment; diversity; and motivation and engagement.

Continuing its tradition of applying psychology to workplace settings, IWP members delivered a number of business workshops as a fringe to the conference, sharing the latest research on leadership, creativity, and voice in organisations with members of the local business community.

The conference also included a number of research support events, including a developmental workshop for postgraduate students and early career researchers, and a variety of workshops and training courses in quantitative and qualitative research methods led by Dr Chris Stride, Dr Jeremy Dawson, Dr Larry Williams and Professor Penny Dick.

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Beyond the high quality presentations and research support events, the conference lived up to its reputation for creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for both first-time attendees and old friends who have attended all four conferences. It continues to be a place where colleagues from across the discipline come together to network, share insights, collaborate, and catch-up. Networking opportunities made the most of Sheffield, with hosted dinners across the city and drinks receptions in the Management School and the Millennium Galleries.

Stephen McGlynn, a PhD student and co-chair of the conference, said: “We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback from delegates. Our keynotes and presenters had a great, real-world focus and approached the event with enthusiasm and creativity. Many of our delegates are already excited about the IWP International Conference 2016!”

Read more about the event here: http://www.iwpconference.org/about-the-conference/

View more photographs from the event here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZjaBHS

Professor Cullen takes on Presidency of BAFA

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

JohnCullen

As of today (1 May), Professor John Cullen becomes President of the British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA).

As the learned society for accounting and finance in the UK, the Association, which recently held its 50th annual conference at the London School of Economics, aims to advance knowledge and understanding of education and research in areas of accounting and finance, as well as promoting closer relations among academics, practitioners, policy makers and others who are interested in the development the sector. It plays an important role in representing the wider interests of accounting and finance in the Higher Education Sector and engages fully in consultations about policy issues and nomination of representatives for panels such as REF 2014.

Prof Cullen is excited about his two-year position as President, and he is determined to continue the excellent work undertaken by previous presidents in taking the learned society forward. He recognises that there are challenges ahead and realises that the role comes with a great deal of responsibility. He said: “We have a strong group of trustees, executive members, sub-committees and special interest groups and I am confident that we will be able to take BAFA further forward during the two years of my presidency and beyond.

“I am particularly keen to further embed the accounting and finance academic community, through BAFA, into the activities of the Academy of Social Sciences. I have been working on this relationship for the last couple of years and see the importance of accounting and finance as a discipline impacting on social science agendas. I see my time as President as the ideal time to engage further and build on this relationship.

“Accounting and Finance is the foundation for much business and management school education, and this highlights the importance of BAFA in a national and international context.”

BAFA is a very active organisation. Aside from the extremely popular annual conference, which this year welcomed 430 attendees from across the globe, and doctoral conference (120 attendees), it has a highly populated events calendar through the activities of the sub committees (Committee of Departments of Accounting and Finance [CDAF]; Conference of Professors of Accounting and Finance (CPAF) and the large number of special interest groups.

BAFA also publishes The British Accounting Review which is a top ranked academic journal in the field. Doctoral members are encouraged and subsidised, and BAFA is very well connected with a range of influential professional bodies such as CIMA, ICAEW, ACCA, CIPFA, CPA Australia, ICAS and CFA.

www.bafa.ac.uk

IWP launches Research Update 2014

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The Institute of Work Psychology (IWP), part of Sheffield University Management School, is delighted to announce the release of its Research Update 2014.

Collating just a few of the IWP’s fantastic research successes and ongoing projects, the publication documents work from prominent members of staff including Professor Peter Warr, Dr Carolyn Axtell, Dr David E Rast, Professor Penny Dick, Dr Kamal Birdi, Dr Eva Selenko, Dr Malcolm Patterson and Dr Jeremy Dawson. It also covers the work by the Institute’s high-achieving group of early career researchers and PhD students.

Read it online here, or see the document below. If you’d like to hear from the IWP in the future, email IWP-researchupdate@sheffield.ac.uk