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Ashbury, food technology, Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Food label

With help from LSBU, Ashbury won a major contract with a leading high street food retailer to check specifications from third party food suppliers

This is a highly technical area requiring specialist knowledge that the company simply didn't have, having started life as a software training and solutions company. To overcome these problems they decided to form a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with LSBU.

Encouraging collaboration

KTPs are programmes that encourage collaboration between universities and businesses in the UK.  KTPs involve three parties: a university, a recent graduate and a company – including small, medium and large companies, charities, not-for-profit organisations and the public sector.

Part-funded by the government, KTPs provide unique benefits to all three parties – the university as a whole, the student associate and the business. LSBU apply their knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses, identifying new research themes and undergraduate and postgraduate projects. The results are often published in high quality journals and conference papers. Recent LSBU graduates are able to enhance their employability and skills and get the opportunity to earn a full salary. The company gets the qualities of an outstanding graduate partially paid for and the expertise and technical support of the university – who work in close connection with all parties. Read more about KTPs.

Providing support

After approaching LSBU, where the specialist knowledge they required was available and ready to be shared, consultancy was initially proposed. However the discussion quickly developed into one about a KTP: a solution which would better provide Ashbury with the level of expertise, technical support and guidance they would need to deliver to their client.

LSBU provided technical expertise in product descriptions, compositional requirements, recipe and ingredients declarations, nutritional and health claims, and legal requirements.

Elvira Henry, the project associate, graduated from LSBU with an MSc in Food Safety and Control. Elvira's previous experience in the field, combined with the expertise gained through her studies managed and trained the team of food technologists at Ashbury.

Transformation

During the course of the two year project Ashbury have set up a new trading company, Ashbury Labelling, and have gone from nothing to having 32 employees – including Elvira, who has a permanent job with the company.

"Having an experienced food technologist on board plus access to LSBU's technical support and guidance has literally transformed our business. It really boosted our client's confidence in us. So much so that we're not validating food labelling content from third party suppliers to the client."

This is the impact KTPs can have on companies which lack the resources that LSBU has in abundance. Ashbury is now a thriving business and a recent LSBU graduate now has a prosperous job.

Read more about Ashbury Labelling on their website.

 
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