edge hill uni

University receives £100k to support partnership with fabric manufacturer

Edge Hill’s SME Productivity and Innovation Centre (SME PIC) has been awarded more than £100k to improve the competitiveness of global fabric designer and manufacturer, Panaz.

The grant will support a two-year partnership between Edge Hill’s business analysis experts and Panaz. The University will help Panaz transform and expand their management capabilities to maximise new and existing business opportunities in the UK and Internationally.

Professor Simon Bolton, Professor of Innovation and Director of the SME PIC, will take on the role as Knowledge Base Lead for the duration of the partnership, he said: “We first worked with Panaz in 2019 through our Rapid Innovation Sprint Programme and we have established a great understanding of their strategic objectives and the complex environment in which they operate. The KTP provides a great opportunity to continue to improve the strategic and operational capabilities of the organisation through the analysis of their sales and performance data, to ultimately stimulate further growth.

“The new project is a great addition to Edge Hill’s growing KTP portfolio and valuable learnings from the project will inform the research and teaching of our academic business experts.”

The partnership between the University and Panaz will employ a high-calibre Business Management graduate to work on the project. The Graduate Associate will play an integral role in ensuring the project’s successful implementation and will be based full-time at Panaz.

The project is all part of Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme, which is designed to enable transformational improvement by identifying key strategic, management-based initiatives to increase business productivity.

Rollie Attard, CEO at Panaz said: “This is a fantastic collaboration allowing the business to further innovate through the exploration of white space and data connectivity within the area of textiles. This will go a long way in helping us understand our customers better so that we can serve them better”.

In other news, Tony Attard, founder, and chairman of Panaz Holdings, alongside his son Rollie, have raised £27,000 for charity as part of a team of furnishing industry fundraisers who cycled from London to Lancashire.

Over six days, the 12 members of the team cycled over 300 miles and tackled 21,000 ft of hills to raise vital funds for charities supported by The Furniture Makers Company.

Beginning in Central London and finishing in Morecambe, the cyclists overcame a series of obstacles including Highgate Hill, a gruelling climb into the national Peak District, and the daunting Snake Pass.

As the current Master of the Furniture Makers’ Company and organiser of the charity cycle, Tony led the team’s arrival into Morecambe and broke the tape across the finishing line.

The £27,000 raised will be utilised to fund the charity’s education programme, which provides occupational welfare to people working in the industry, whilst also nurturing young individuals wanting to build a career in the sector.

Speaking of the event, Tony Attard, said: “Crossing the finishing line in Morecambe was a great feeling and I’d like to thank everyone who met us at the finish line. As a team, we have raised a phenomenal amount of money for a very worthwhile cause who will put the funds to good use.

“It’s been a fantastic journey that was very tough, but entirely worth it. As novice riders, the team have all undertaken a massive challenge, but it was important for us to help raise awareness of The Furniture Makers’ Company as it works to fund new talent and bolster the welfare of members of the trade.”

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