Cranfield University and the Produce World Group, one of the UK’s largest vegetable growers and suppliers, were awarded the RCUK Research Base Impact Award at the recent Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) Awards.
Produce World and Cranfield University were recognised for their work to establish a Soil Information Management System 'Soil-for-Life®' (SfL) which allows the company to map, assess and monitor soils across the business. The system, developed with Cranfield’s expertise in soil science and database design, allows Produce World to improve its use of soils to optimise soil fertility, match crops to soil type, and therefore improve marketable yield of vegetables and the sustainability of its farming business.
Dr Robert Simmons, Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Soil Management at Cranfield University, said: “It is a real privelege to be recognised for our work with Produce World. Through working together, we have gained a greater understanding of UK horticulture production systems and the key soil management challenges faced by UK agri-business.”
Dr Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, added: “The drive, creativity and results that knowledge transfer partnerships achieve are incredible and it’s no wonder they have been going for more than 40 years. It never fails to impress me what people can achieve given the opportunity and encouragement. It’s those top calibre partnerships that get through the independent nomination process for our best of the best awards.“
Cranfield’s partnership with MESH, the experience agency who help businesses understand their customers, was also a finalist for the Best Partnership Award. Through this partnership, businesses have gained real-time customer insight using a mobile phone app. Users give feedback through the app by assigning a product or brand a positive or negative rating every time they interact with it.
The Awards celebrate the standout achievements of exceptional individuals and organisations. They were presented at a high profile ceremony as part of Innovate 2015, the UK’s flagship event held in partnership with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). The event was attended by over 400 leading figures from the world of academia and innovation, as well as UK investors and international delegates.