September 02, 2022 | University Partners

Leeds Beckett University partnership to bring new innovations into the operating theatre

Marketing and management experts at Leeds Beckett University have teamed up with a Leeds-based manufacturing company to bring academic knowledge and innovation into the business – setting them up for long-term growth, new product development, and sustainability.

A team of Leeds Business School academics will work with Medasil Surgical Limited on the two-year Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership (mKTP), which is part-funded by the Government through Innovate UK. Medasil are manufacturers, importers, and distributors of single-use medical devices for the healthcare sector, based on Hunslet Road, Leeds.

Founded in 1974, Medasil is a small independent, family-owned business specialising in the extrusion and moulding of single-use silicone medical devices under their own and other brands. Customers include the NHS, private hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the UK and worldwide.

Dr David Andrews, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Leeds Beckett and project leader of the mKTP, explained: “The aim of the project is to create and embed a profitable and sustainable business model that will enable Medasil to innovate and grow. We will set up new market intelligence and decision-making frameworks to provide them with the necessary strategic insight and management capabilities to grow the business sustainably.

“The project will include: upskilling and developing staff; embedding a long-term culture change within the organisation; and driving the business to become more market-orientated, agile and equipped to make informed decisions before investing in new innovations.”

Gillian Hassall, CEO of Medasil Surgical Limited, said: “We are very much looking forward to working with the team at Leeds Beckett University - they understand completely what is needed to enable us to make informed decisions about the future direction and growth of the company. This is a great opportunity for us to have a skilled graduate dedicated to this project, and to have David Andrews and Paul Rhodes, with their vast business and academic experience leading and mentoring. This project will help us to build a stronger more sustainable future for Medasil.”

The academic team all have extensive experience of working with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on knowledge exchange projects. Their expertise includes strategic marketing, sales management, and new product development. A skilled graduate will be recruited to carry out the project, as a full-time member of staff within the business, and with the full support and input of the academic team at Leeds Beckett.

Dr David Andrews has held senior posts - including CEO of Yorkshire Tourist Board - and has worked with more than 200 SMEs on funded projects. He is a business coach on the government-funded Help to Grow: Management course at Leeds Beckett. Paul Rhodes has more than 25 years' experience with blue-chip FMCG companies including Bass Brewers, Heinz and Greencore. He has worked in the UK and overseas in a variety of commercial and leadership roles, most recently as Managing Director of a £80m food manufacturing business with 1,000 employees.

Through the partnership with Leeds Beckett, Medasil staff members will have access to a range of development opportunities through the University’s wider business support programmes, including the #WECAN (Women Empowered through Coaching and Networking) programme - building the leadership skills, capabilities and opportunities of women in SMEs in the Leeds City Region; and Help to Grow: Management - supporting senior managers of SMEs to boost business performance, resilience, and long-term growth.

The mKTP has received financial support from the UK government department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through Innovate UK.