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Double first for Panalpina at Innovation and Impact Awards 2016

23 June 2016

Innovation Award Winners
Celebrating the People's Choice: Professor Aris Syntentos, Cardiff Business School; KTP researcher Nicole.Ayiomamitou and Andrew Lahy, Global Head of Business Improvement, Panalpina, receive their award from Mark Wilson, Executive Vice President, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, and Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University, at the Innovation and Impact Awards 2016.

A project that helps businesses predict demand for products has been crowned the ‘People’s Choice’ at Cardiff University’s Innovation and Impact Awards.

Cardiff University’s work with global logistics and freight forwarding company Panalpina set out to find the ‘hidden formula’ for ‘lean’ inventories.

Cardiff Business School joined forces with the company to develop a software tool that can forecast demand and decide minimum inventories for businesses.

More than 170 people voted for the project in a ‘People’s Choice’ social media competition, making it the overall winner at the Awards, sponsored by IP Group, Symbiosis IP Ltd and Blake Morgan.

Panalpina employee Maria Pia Caraccia, based in New York, wins a Pebble Smart Watch for voting for the project and providing a winning answer that praised the work of her friend and colleague Nicole Ayiomamitou.

Maria’s winning answer explained: “Nicole is helping change the way we do logistics. Inventory is one of the toughest challenges to manage. This tool keeps it simple, clear and visible. The innovation will literally rock the inventory and supply world!”

The venture was forged through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which allowed Panalpina access to a leading academic from Cardiff Business School’s Logistics and Operations Management Section.

Presenting the People's Choice Award to Panalpina and Cardiff Business School, Mark Wilson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, said: “The project brought Cardiff’s academics together with a global business to develop a software tool that has helped Panalpina slim down clients’ inventories and reduce logistics costs, whilst having a positive impact on the environment. It is a classic example of the kind of innovation on which Aston Martin prides itself.”

Professor Aris Syntetos, Chair in Operational Research and Operations Management at Cardiff Business School, said: “This is a fantastic win for a fantastic project. It will make a major contribution to the operation of businesses. It has enabled the University to see knowledge created by Cardiff Business School disseminated across Panalpina and on to their customers.”

The People’s Choice winner was selected through a public vote organised via social media. Over 360 votes were cast. The Panalpina project also picked up the Business Innovation prize at the Awards, which celebrated four other winning finalists.

A partnership which is developing a new drug for metastatic breast cancer won the Innovation in Healthcare honour. The venture, led by a joint team from the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff, combined academic expertise in drug development and cancer biology together with experience of restructuring biotechnology companies.

Work to help tackle violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence in Wales secured the Impact on Policy Award. Professor Emma Renold and Dr Amanda Robinson, School of Social Sciences, shaped the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse, and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015. They collaborated with the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Government to influence the legislative process.

Innovative research which dramatically increased the number of homeless people assisted each year in Wales won the Social Impact Award. Work by Dr Peter Mackie, Senior Lecturer in Cardiff’s School of Geography and Planning, led local authorities to change the way homeless people are helped in Wales and directly informed the Wales Housing Act 2014.

And a project which harnessed the power of gold as a commercial catalyst secured the International Impact Award. Scientists in the School of Chemistry, led by Professor Graham Hutchings, teamed up with Johnson Matthey (JM), a UK multinational speciality chemicals company, to devise a gold catalyst that has the potential to replace harmful mercury catalysts used in PVC production.

The Awards form part of Cardiff’s Summer of Innovation. Running until early October 2016, the seasonal celebration shines a light on the University’s research projects and partnerships.

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