The Business Fellowship scheme funds academics to spend time working with organisations on specific projects relevant to their research interests. The aim is for both parties to benefit in the exchange and transfer of knowledge. Here are some examples of Business Fellowship scheme projects from 2009/10.
Dr Bridget Towers and Dr Robert Gant from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences produced a detailed local crime report and analysis for the Safer Kingston Partnership based on 'fear of crime' and personal safety surveys carried out with 2,400 students and town centre visitors in Kingston.
The University's criminology students collected the data and benefitted from engaging with real life policy, local crime and disorder concerns and environmental issues. We expect that the findings from the surveys will be used to inform future crime and anti-social behaviour reduction initiatives in Kingston town centre.
Although ethnic monitoring data is collected routinely by healthcare organisations, its usage is limited. Dr Christina Butler from the Faculty of Business and Law and Dr Eleni Hatzidimitriadou from the Faculty of Healthcare and Social Care Sciences aimed to identify how the data collected by St George's Hospital NHS Trust (STG) could be effectively used to help reduce ethnic health inequalities — a key government objective.
The academic partners analysed patient databases and began to identify practical, as well as equality and diversity issues. Following this pilot study, they are planning to continue the collaboration with SGT in order to develop a functional framework for analysis and identification of ethnic inequalities in healthcare provision.
SGT benefited from this analysis as it offered a different way of using routine data and informing clinical decision-making and equality and diversity policies. The ongoing work will also assist in their efforts to apply for Foundation Trust status by the end of 2010.
Cubesats are educational nanosatellites (small, artificial satellites) for space research, designed and built by universities.
Chris Welch from the Faculty of Engineering, in collaboration with the space company, EADS Astrium, aimed to identify and implement the techniques and infrastructure to develop a low-cost cubesat technology. This study covered aspects of the communications links required to communicate with cubesats and their payloads (carrying capacity). This led to the decision to establish a cubesat ground station at Kingston's Roehampton Vale campus.
A prime opportunity for the University following this project is the UK Space Agency's UKube1 programme which will involve a major competition amongst companies and academic groups to come up with the most innovative ideas for payloads.