Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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16 June 2010 | PR 10/95

Ground-breaking partnership to strengthen lines of communication at county council

When you’re an organisation providing services to 650,000 people with a budget of over £300 million and a staff of 15,000, efficient and effective communication can be a challenge.

Leicestershire County Council is stepping up to that challenge in a potentially ground-breaking partnership with Loughborough University.

The council has entered into a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with the departments of Information Science and Computer Science at the University.

The project will build a workforce which is trained in information and knowledge management and which shares a common culture in that area.

It will enable the council to make efficiency savings, improve services to the people of Leicestershire and become more responsive to their needs.

The council’s corporate information manager, Stephen Curtis, said: “The council is stepping up to the challenge of improving services with less resources, by improving understanding of the services that communities need, and providing better information about those services.’’

The project’s mission will be to feed innovation into the implementation of Leicestershire’s information management strategy to ensure continuity and consistency in the way information is gathered, shared and stored across this massive organisation. The council’s services include education, social care, transport, waste management and culture and leisure.

Information Science senior lecturer Dr Mark Hepworth is leading the university’s team. He said: “Rather than building IT capabilities, we will be helping them to build people’s capabilities, knowledge and skills and to redefine the way employees approach knowledge management and information sharing.’’

Dr Hepworth believes this project could be significant in changing the way Local Authorities are run across the country.

Academics will be helping council staff to develop innovative and forward-thinking approaches to using and managing information. The partnership also aims to develop the necessary human resources to meet people’s need for information and knowledge.

Loughborough University has been instrumental in helping to train Leicestershire County Council staff in the past and this project has developed from an established relationship between the two organisations.

The partnership will tap into expertise and research from across the University, in particular the Department of Information Science. That expertise includes the organisation of information, its retrieval and representation, how to measure the impact of knowledge management and understanding the human resource issues associated with information management.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Sarah Hall
Marketing Officer (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T :01509 228684
E: S.Hall@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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