Dr Karla Zimpel-Leal
UKRI Innovation Fellow
Dr Karla Zimpel-Leal was an Innovation Fellow within the Sustainable Care Programme, at the University of Sheffield. Her research is inspired by real world challenges that can inform both academia and industry, and it is aligned to the UK’s Industrial Strategy grand challenge of an Ageing Society. She was examining emergent and disruptive Homecare Business Models for older adults, investigating how these organisations create, develop and capture value, and how they are shaping the care landscape in England.
Karla was also looking at the professionalization of the care workforce, from skills and development to creating a workforce strategy. She worked closely with homecare providers, policymakers, regulators and commissioners, advancing business model innovation, promoting sustainability and growth, as well as influencing social policy.
Her previous research encompasses knowledge transfer and innovation, particularly focusing on understanding the generative mechanisms that are driving knowledge transfer between science and industry in the food sector, and addressing this sector’s challenges such as healthy ageing, nutrition and food security whilst reducing waste and environmental impact.
Before rejoining academia and with an entrepreneurial spirit, Karla has spent many years paving her own road through founding a bespoke gifting retail business in London and co-founding a beekeeping business in Norwich, as well as consulting in Supply Chain Management and Procurement for organisations such as; Office of Communications, Ealing Council and Lotus Cars. Her academic degrees comprise a BA (Hons) in Business and International Trade from Unisinos, an MSc (distinction) in Supply Chain Management and a PhD in Knowledge Transfer from Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia, UK.
Research and publications
Burns, D., Goodlad, C., Hamblin, K., & Zimpel-Leal, K. (2022). Innovation in UK independent homecare services: A thematic narrative review. Health & Social Care in the Community, 00, 1– 12.Link
Advancing business innovation and skills development in the home care sector: Key Facts (PDF, 165KB)
Ageing Well at Home: emergent models of home care provision and the professionalisation of the home care workforce (Sustainable Care Policy Perspective 2018) (PDF, 370KB)