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Leeds Beckett collaborations scoop top industry awards


Two Leeds Beckett University research projects have scooped accolades in the prestigious annual RISE awards, which celebrate the most pioneering collaborations between industry and academia.

Isabelle Kelly and Rajkiran Kandola at the RISE awards

The two collaborative projects are supported by Leeds Beckett through the government’s UK-wide Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme, which aims to help businesses to develop and gain competitive advantage with the help of UK universities.

Rajkiran Kandola, Research Associate in the School of Social Sciences, won the RISE award for ‘Collaborative Working’, while Isabelle Kelly, Research Associate in the Carnegie School of Sport, took home the prize for ‘Behavioural Change’ and was highly commended in the category ‘Social Value’.  

RISE awards 2017

The RISE awards highlight the most pioneering initiatives across Research, Innovation, Sustainability and Enterprise. They are hosted by the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett as part of the International SEEDS (Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society) conference, which took place on 13-14 September this year. The awards were presented on Thursday 14 September at the Marriott Hotel in Leeds.

Jo Griffiths, Knowledge Transfer Partnership and Business Growth Scheme Manager at Leeds Beckett, commented: “We are delighted that our KTPs have been recognised and highlighted for their outstanding impact in this way. Raj and Isabelle are enabling Amey and Quorn to take their businesses to the next level by supporting them with cutting-edge research and intelligence to develop key areas of change that wouldn’t have been possible without their insight. We are very proud of them both.”

Rajkiran Kandola at the RISE awards

Rajkiran Kandola is based in Birmingham working with Amey, a leading multinational supplier of consulting and infrastructure support services, with the aim of reducing safety incidents across the company’s consulting and rail business and its supply chain. Rajkiran’s project will embed a behavioural safety strategy underpinned by a psychological, data driven approach with research from Leeds Beckett.

Talking about his company’s work with Leeds Beckett, Robert Doyle, Amey’s Consulting and Rail HSEQ Director, said: “As Amey’s number one priority is safety, we are always looking for new ways to improve our safety performance. The KTP project with Leeds Beckett University gives us an opportunity to challenge our current approach towards behavioural safety.

By embedding our KTP Associate within the business we are able to leverage this knowledge in a seamless approach within our operational environments. I am confident that with the continued support of the KTP Associate and the delivery of the ongoing project, that we will see even more improvement on our journey towards zero harm.”

Praising the project, the RISE judges noted the scale and challenge in improving safety at Amey and that collaboration between Amey and Leeds Beckett is amending traditional views of safety improvement. It was judged to be an excellent example of the benefits of collaborative working.

Isabelle Kelly at the RISE awards

Working with Quorn foods, the UK’s leading meat free brand, Isabelle Kelly has been investigating nutritional behaviour change and embedding methods of targeting new groups of customers -  including those who may be looking to eat more healthily as part of a weight management programme - into Quorn’s promotional activity and company culture.

Isabelle has been researching consumer behaviours: including the decisions consumers make, the barriers to new consumer choices and the factors that influence long-term behaviour change. 

The project is enabling Quorn to continue its work in promoting sustainable choices in diet that will impact not only our own health but the sustainability of our environment.

The RISE judges noted that Isabelle made her project a winning achievement by extending her research with a collaboration involving Quorn, Innovate UK and specialists at weight management programme MoreLife, to bring about behaviour change to support the uptake of alternative source protein to improve the sustainability of meat-based products and improve health outcomes.

To find out more about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and how your organisation could work with Leeds Beckett University, please email the Leeds Beckett KTP office or call 0113 812 5981.


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