This year RCUK and PraxisUnico have joined forces to hold the Impact Awards for Knowledge Transfer and Commercialisation (KEC) professionals. The Impact Awards are now open for entries, until April 16 2015, and recognise outstanding contributions to facilitating the achievement of business, society and international impacts. KEC is an extremely important element to the innovation process, as it is those working in this field that bring ideas to life and pursue some of the tangible benefits of excellent research.
Awarding the individuals and teams for their dedication and skill in KEC allows for the identification and recognition of good practice, something that both RCUK and PraxisUnico advocate. We have had some wonderful entries over the years in both Activating Impact and The Impact Awards and this year have come together with a joint Impact Awards, to facilitate the sharing of best practice, and to acknowledge and celebrate the work that Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) professionals do in enabling impact from UK research organisations.. Last year, teams from Queen Mary University and Kings College London shared the Activating Impact Award. Speaking on how winning the award would feed into future activities, Cath Lavery, Head of Business Development at Queen Mary University, London, said: “This is the first time that we have entered this competition so we didn't know what to expect. The competition was fantastic and we are absolutely thrilled with the result. It has been very motivating for the team here at Queen Mary.The award will be used to support industry placements with life sciences companies to provide commercial experience, a new Discipline-Bridging Fund to pump-prime interdisciplinary projects and collaborative activities, and an online resource to share research tools such as datasets and software.”
In 2014 there was stiff competition for the Business Impact – Aspiring award. The award was contested between: the University of Birmingham, theUniversity of Manchester, Cardiff University and the University of Edinburgh (click here for a video of the finalists’ projects).
The eventual award was won by Cardiff University for their amazing Ultravision project. Dr Neil Warren, Chief Technology Officer at Asalus Medical Instruments, the spin-out company behind Ultravision, said: “We are delighted Ultravision has been recognised as an excellent example of collaborative commercialisation. The University instantly recognised the potential value of Ultravision and provided translational funding to create prototypes. The commercialisation team then secured funding to create a spinout Company. Four years later we have a launched product and are attracting distribution partners worldwide.” Since winning the award the team behind Ultravision have secured a distribution network right across Europe for their product.
Outstanding projects like the ones mentioned highlight the importance of KEC and the quite remarkable things it can achieve when carried out at a world-class standard.
To enter this year’s competition please complete the entry form on the Impact Awards website.
The overall competition winner will be drawn from the first three categories and the competition winner will be awarded ‘KEC team of the year’ and will receive up to £50,000 award money to implement KEC activities at their institution. Only those institutions eligible to receive RCUK funding are eligible to receive the monetary award.
The closing date is midnight April 16, 2015.
To find out more about the Impact Awards and guidance on how to write a good entry visit the RCUK Impact Awards page.
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Press and Communications Manager
Tel: 01793 444592 or email: Nicholas Turner