Newcastle University Business School

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Three is the magic number as Newcastle University Business School wins funding for research

Research at Newcastle University Business School has recently been recognised in a series of high profile grant awards  for: VALUMICS, Newton and Aspire projects. 

EU Horizon 2020 has awarded £255,000 to fund, VALUMICS, a four year research project which will help to enhance sustainability in food value chains.

Working with a consortium of 19 European partners from 14 countries, and two Asian partners, VALUMICS will involve modelling new approaches to enhance sustainable food chains, consumer research and foresight analysis. The project will provide decision makers with a comprehensive suite of approaches and tools to evaluate the impact of strategic and operational policies, and enhance the resilience, integrity and sustainability of food value chains.

Food system dynamics will be modelled using a causal loop analysis framework, covering the interconnected value, supply, and decision chains. It will challenge and go beyond previous research through a highly cross-functional project design that will provide a bridging analysis across economic, environmental and social dimensions which were previously kept separate.

This whole chain analysis will deliver comparative assessments at the European level and beyond.

Case studies will cover short supply chains, with local and national analysis, as well as global ones relevant for sustainable food and nutrition security in Europe. The project involves a number of academics from Newcastle University Business School: Matthew Gorton, Fred Lemke, Gu Pang and Barbara Tocco, alongside Carmen Hubbard from Agriculture Food and Rural Development - and is scheduled to start in April 2017.

The Business School has been awarded a £66,000 Newton Advanced Fellowship from The Newton Fund for Halima Minhat of Putra University Malaysia to work with Dr Matt Flynn, to carry out research on social care workers, precarious work and health.

Halima is a medical doctor with a research specialism in elderly health. She will work with Dr Flynn on a project which involves interviews with carers and social care providers as well as trials of interventions to improve health management in the sector.

This collaboration is a great opportunity for Newcastle University Business School to enhance its work with academic partners in Malaysia. It will also strengthen links with colleagues in the Newcastle Institute of Ageing and their work on occupational health and social care - aligning to our themes of ageing and social renewal.

Dr Matt Flynn also leads a four country project team which includes university, employer and trade union partners - a project which has been awarded €300,000 by the European Commission Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Division. In the UK, Dr Flynn will be working with the Employers Network on Equality and Inclusion and Trades Union Congress.

The goal of the project is to support social partners (trade unions and employers) in promoting healthier workplaces so that older employees, can lead productive and valuable careers.

The project will investigate activities of social partners in developing agendas for developing and embedding active ageing policies within workplaces.

As part of the project, workshops will be carried out in twenty workplaces across the UK, Poland, Spain and Italy. The aim is to create a training programme for social partners; helping to promote active ageing in the workplace with a blueprint that takes from experiences of all stakeholders involved.

Along with Newcastle University Business School, the project partners are University of Granada, University of Lodz and ADAPT Italy. It will bring together some of European universities’ foremost experts in ageing, industrial relations and human resource management.

The funding is fantastic recognition of the quality and international nature of the research undertaken at Newcastle University Business School. With awards from EU Horizon 2020 and the European Commission, it’s a great boost at a time of challenge and uncertainty surrounding the UK’s role as a research leader following the Brexit vote in 2016.

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published on: 24 January 2017