Collaboration with Lancaster University Business School

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 11:05

Collaboration with Lancaster University Business School

Fibrestar team up with Lancaster University for Innovation Challenge

Fibrestar recently invited students from Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) to their head office in Stockport as part of the Lancaster University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Student Challenge 2017.

The event highlights the strong links between Fibrestar and the university and not only encourages innovative solutions, but also gives degree students valuable experience when it comes to life in the workplace.

Part of the challenge was for students to come up with innovative and interesting uses for Fibrestar’s range of Fibre drums, which are used for transporting anything from hazardous chemicals to food products.

“The plan is to encourage the students to thinks of as many uses for the drums as possible,” explains Colin Pardoe, Managing Director at Fibrestar. “Obviously we know they have their uses for the transportation of liquids and substances but we want to encourage the students to think outside of the box, so to speak, and come up with some innovative uses for this strong, sturdy and environmentally friendly item.”

“Fibre drums are a versatile and durable packaging alternative to plastic and steel,” he explains. “With the added benefits of being lightweight, customisable and re-usable, they are the latest in cost-effective and environmentally friendly packaging.

“Their strength and durability means that they are perfect for safely carrying a wide variety of products and because of their high level of durability it also means that fibre drums can be re-used again and again, and when it's time for them to be disposed of, the drums can easily be recycled.”

The programme has been designed to allow students to show their initiative, while being creative and developing well-reasoned arguments and the judges will also be assessing their critical thinking skills. No easy task, but the experience is sure to help them develop vital skills for working in a fast-changing world.

The teams with the most innovative, solid and persuasive ideas will be asked to present their interim findings before Fibrestar and LUMS select a team for the ‘Business Innovation in Practice Award.’

In total, 33 students were introduced to the business where they were also taken on a factory tour, getting to see the business in action with staff members showing the students around while answering their questions. Mr Pardoe then visited the University to answer each group’s questions and the students got to speak in-depth with Senior Management.

LUMS has been running individual projects with local businesses for decades and have many links with local, national and multinational companies with the aim being to give students exposure to many different organisations that exist in the UK economy.

Many of the students taking part are from the Department of Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Innovation and either want to start their own business or develop an understanding of entrepreneurship in practice.

Some overseas students were also involved as part of the university’s partnership with EM Lyon, a French Business School, while some are part of the China Catalyst programme.

 “We’ve been involved with Fibrestar for a few years and the students always love working with the team,” Says Jennifer Peasnell, Company Projects Manager at LUMS. “We were keen to develop an exciting challenge that would take our students out of their comfort zone and Colin came up with just such a challenge,” she says.

And it’s not just businesses like Fibrestar who benefit from such a reciprocal arrangement, for Lancaster University such a programme provides the peace of mind that their students are gaining the best experience available within a well respected, local business.

70 Years’ Experience in Drum Manufacture