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Edge Hill’s Business School

Business experts at Edge Hill University have been awarded more than £100,000 in government-backed funding to transform the business performance of one of the UK’s leading pet food specialists. 

The Business School’s Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) has launched a new two-year partnership with national franchise Oscar Pet Foods to expand its management capability and effectiveness. 

The partnership has received a £105,642 grant via Innovate UK’s Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (mKTP) programme, which is designed to enable transformational improvement by identifying key strategic, management-based initiatives to increase business efficiency. 

Edge Hill’s Business School will offer expert data analysis on customer profiles and purchasing behaviours to enable Preston-based Oscar to maximise existing and new business opportunities. 

The partnership is a three-way collaboration between the University, Oscar and a high-calibre graduate who will gain valuable experience through full-time employment as an Associate to Oscar for the duration of the project. 

The Associate will play an integral role in supporting the development of the framework and its successful implementation within the organisation. 

Professor Simon Bolton, head of the PIC at Edge Hill, will take on the role as Knowledge Base Lead for the duration of the partnership. 

Prof Bolton said: “We are looking forward to continuing our work with Oscar through the mKTP.  The grant will also provide a great opportunity for a skilled graduate to work on an exciting project that will have real impact on the growth strategy of Oscars.  Valuable insights from the project will also inform the research and teaching of our academic business experts.” 

Managing Director of Oscar, Richard Martin, first engaged with the PIC in 2019 to embark on the University’s Innovation Sprint Programme, which offers core data-driven innovation to help small and medium-sized enterprises to develop their scale-up or growth strategy. 

Richard said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the mKTP grant and to continue working with the academics at the University. The impact that the data-driven marketing tools and framework will have on our business processes will not only result in growth for Oscar but also for our network of franchisees, both existing and new. 

“We will be able to make informed decisions when facing new business opportunities with confidence and look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the University.” 

Edge Hill’s Business School offers students an environment to grow and develop, enriched by our partnerships with some of the world’s leading universities, with key national and regional employers and businesses, and with the major professional bodies across its degree subjects. 

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