Award-winning study helps flashing lights go green

Friday 12 March 2010

The winner of the 2010 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Knowledge Transfer Partnership prize for the Best Application of Social or Management Science has saved the Bradford and Airedale Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) an estimated £350,000. The winning project aimed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Trust's transport systems.

The project was a collaboration between Dr David Bamford from the University of Manchester, and Bradford and Airedale Teaching Primary Care Trust facilitated by Helen Thornton. As well as saving money it also lead to numerous positive outcomes in public health care service, local population wellbeing, and significant reductions in their carbon footprint.

The project was also awarded the regional Knowledge Transfer Partnership prize for Yorkshire and Humber, further highlighting its substantial achievement and how a combination of expert knowledge, technology, and skills from various disciplines can be invaluable to our society.

The project undertook a review of all the transport needs of NHS Bradford, including an assessment of the future demand patterns for services. There have also been substantial improvements made to health care service provision, including improved patient choice and experience.

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership has since provided an exciting career development opportunity for Miss Thornton, who is now Head of Logistics and Transport Contracts within the Trust, and responsible for taking forward the PCT's Sustainable Development Strategy for transport. For the University of Manchester, the programme has facilitated the development of a closer relationship between the Business School and the Trust, which will lead to on-going collaboration. Overall, the Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme has raised the profile of the Trust, both in the region and nationally, and is now acknowledged to be leading the way in improvements in transport and logistics provision.

Thanks to the achievement of Knowledge Transfer Partnership schemes, businesses are gaining professional advice to help improve their services, save money, and create more effective partnerships between institutions, organisations, and the public. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme is a UK-wide programme helping organisations in the private, public and third sectors improve their effectiveness and productivity through working in partnership with universities. The scheme aims to transform business practices, improving communication and company performance by bringing in skilled experts from academic backgrounds.

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Notes for editors

  1. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is one of the biggest of the schemes funded as part of the ESRC's commitment to Knowledge Transfer. The scheme's mission is to strengthen the competitiveness and wealth creation of the UK by enabling research organisations to apply their research knowledge to important business problems. For more information about ESRC's funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
  2. Knowledge Transfer Partnership is a UK-wide programme funded by 18 organisations and headed by the Technology Strategy Board. For further information on KTP please visit the KTP website or call the KTP helpline on 0870 190 2829.
  3. Knowledge Transfer Partnership aims to:
    1. Facilitate the transfer of knowledge through projects undertaken by high calibre, recently qualified people under joint supervision from a company and an academic institution
    2. Provide company-based training for recently qualified people to enhance their business and specialist skills
    3. Stimulate and enhance business-relevant training and research undertaken by the academic institutions
    4. Increase the interaction between businesses and academic institutions, and awareness of the contribution academia can make to business development and growth
  4. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.
  5. The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
  6. The Northern Way is a unique initiative, bringing together the cities and regions of the North of England to work together to improve the sustainable economic development of the North towards the level of more prosperous regions.