Innovation project set to help regional businesses

A three-year programme to encourage innovation within businesses across the Sheffield City Region (SCR) is underway as part of a joint initiative between Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.  

The Sheffield Innovation Programme allows small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the region to access academic expertise, facilities and resources at both universities to stimulate innovation to deliver new products and services.

Businesses can access a range of bespoke consultancy services with academic experts as well as a number of events and workshops to help their business grow.

Academic staff involved in the project have a range of expertise in areas including packaging design, advanced manufacturing, sports engineering, robotics and materials engineering.

The programme is jointly funded by both universities, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).

Professor Paul Harrison, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “As one of the leading applied universities in the UK, Sheffield Hallam has a long tradition of working with local and regional businesses.

“This new programme combines our own investment with EU funds, and shows our commitment to support business and enterprise within the region.

“This project provides a channel for our academics and researchers to work in knowledge-exchange partnerships with industry, keeping our research relevant to the economy and also providing stimuli to our students through our taught programmes.”

“We are honoured to be leading this partnership on behalf of the two great universities in Sheffield and this is another example of the way the universities can work together for the benefit of the city and region.”

Professor Mike Hounslow, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: “As engineers we’re passionate about applying our research and innovation to create real solutions and to address pressing challenges with industry.  We’re particularly pleased to be doing so with local companies in partnership with Sheffield Hallam.

“The ERDF support for the Sheffield Innovation Programme allows us to support local SMEs with capabilities from across the breadth of our Engineering Faculty such as advanced manufacturing and materials, innovative designs through understanding structural dynamics, developments in infrastructure and robotics.  Working together between the Universities, local industry and our LEP we are continuing to strengthen the position of Sheffield City Region as a powerhouse of advanced manufacturing.”

The programme aims to support more than 200 regional businesses over the three-year period.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chairman of Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “Partners in Sheffield City Region are working closely together to drive forward the transformational changes we need to create 70,000 jobs and 6,000 new businesses over the next decade.

“The partnership approach taken by Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Sheffield, and local partners is helping to ensure that our city region continues to punch above its weight in innovation, science and technology.

“This is creating an innovative and fast growing centre of business excellence which harnesses the drive and ambition of our 52,000 businesses.”

Businesses wanting to take advantage of the service should contact or visit the website for more information.

 Notes to Editor

 European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £1.779m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

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A New Look and New Name for Robson

Robson, developing innovative solutions to address customers end-to-end handling requirements across industries worldwide.

Robson, a fourth generation family firm is celebrating its 110-year anniversary by announcing a new company name – Robson Handling Technology Ltd. The name ‘Robson Handling Technology’ represents a statement of the new strategic direction of the business being more than a conveyor manufacturer, providing end-to-end handling solution capabilities.

Operating from its headquarters in Sheffield, Robson has a comprehensive portfolio of high quality products. Delivering single products to full system solutions for a diverse range of industries including baggage handling in Airports to material handling solutions in a multitude of Bulk industries.

To complement the Robson business model, Robson Site Services Ltd has been established, delivering dedicated proactive on-site service and maintenance support for the long-term stability and increased longevity of your products, systems and technologies.

Providing the heavy engineering side to the Robson Group, RJD Engineering completes the Robson Group. Fabricating to customer requirements, including bridge, pipework, platework, roundwork, stainless steel and structural steelwork.

For more information on Robson, please visit the new website here

Former Head of Civil Service appointed new Chair of Governors

Sheffield Hallam University has appointed the former Head of the Civil Service, Lord Kerslake, as its new Chair of the Board of Governors.

It was announced today (Wednesday 12 October) that Robert (Bob) Kerslake, who also served as Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council between 1997 and 2008, would take up the role with immediate effect. He will succeed Geoff Dawson, who announced his intention to retire earlier this year after six years of highly successful service as Chair.

Lord Kerslake is also Chair of London’s King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Chair of the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS), Chair of London Collective Investment Vehicle, Chair of Peabody Housing Association in London, and President of the Local Government Association.

HBob Kerslakee received a knighthood for his services to local government in 2005 after spending eight years serving the London Borough of Hounslow and then a further 11 years leading Sheffield Council.

In early 2015, he was made a life peer, taking the title Baron Kerslake, of Endcliffe in the City of Sheffield.

As well as being Head of the Civil Service between 2012 and 2014, Lord Kerslake led the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) from November 2010 to February 2015. Prior to his DCLG role, he was the first Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency.

Speaking about his appointment, Lord Kerslake said: “Sheffield Hallam is a modern university at the heart of the city, making a big impact on the lives of those in the city region and beyond.

“This is an exciting time to take over as Chair, as the University moves towards implementing its new strategy to 2030 in the New Year.

“I am delighted to have been appointed as Chair by my fellow Governors and look forward to working with the Board, staff and students.”

Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, Professor Chris Husbands, said: “In a time of forward ambition and transformation for the University, Bob’s breadth of knowledge and experience will be invaluable to us.

“My Leadership Team and I warmly welcome his appointment as Chair and look forward to working together.”

The Board of Governors sets the educational character, mission and strategic vision of the University, and oversees its activities and performance.

As Chair, Lord Kerslake plays an important role in the governance of the University while working independently of its regular executive management.

The Board of Governors comprises 18 members in total, including student representatives; former Sheffield Heeley MP, Meg Munn; and former Master Cutler, Neil MacDonald.

About Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 31,500 students.

It is one of the country’s largest providers of health and social care courses, teacher training, and sport and physical activity courses.

Its courses are designed and delivered in close partnership with employers, professional associations and practice specialists to ensure that the skills our students develop are relevant. As a result, 93 per cent of its students are in employment or further training within six months of graduation.

As one of the UK’s most progressive universities, providing opportunity through widening participation is at the heart of the University. 96 per cent of its young full-time undergraduate UK students are from state schools/colleges and 41 per cent are from low income backgrounds.

Sheffield Hallam’s research is characterised by a focus on real world impact – addressing the cultural, economic and social challenges facing society today. 65 per cent of its research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework.