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Outstanding impact to be celebrated with awards


The winners of the Impact Awards for knowledge exchange and commercialisation (KEC) professionals, run by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and PraxisUnico, will be announced at a ceremony in Central Hall, Westminster on 15th September 2015, which will bring together more than 200 invited guests from academia, industry and government. 

The Impact Awards recognise and celebrate the vital role knowledge exchange and commercialisation (KEC) professionals play in maximising impact from research. A strong and diverse range of projects were nominated for the awards, showcasing how UK KEC teams work with their academic colleagues to help turn investments in research into real-life benefits. This includes supporting relationships between businesses and world-leading UK researchers.

There are nine shortlisted entries for three awards:

  1. Contribution to Business
  • Coventry University - The Unipart-Coventry University Partnership
  • University of Leicester - ASDEC (Advanced Structural Dynamics Evaluation Centre)
  • University of Strathclyde - Cascade Technologies Ltd: from student spin-out to global success story
  1. Contribution to Society
  • Aberystwyth University - The fair and equitable use of Miscanthus (elephant grass) genetic resources in the energy sector through international treaty and influence on UK and EU
  • Public Health England - Knowledge exchange on the frontline: responding to the Ebola outbreak
  • University of Strathclyde - Portable Eye Examination Kit (PEEK)
  1. Outstanding KEC Initiative
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University - Knowledge Innovation Technical Exchange (KITE) benefits in the Welsh SME food sector
  • Isis Innovation Ltd - Encouraging IP uptake for SMEs through the Oxford Isis Smart IP Scheme
  • Lancaster University with University of Liverpool and Inventya Ltd - Encouraging IP uptake for SMEs through the Oxford Isis Smart IP Scheme; Centre for Global Eco-Innovation.

There will also be an Overall Winner 2015, which will be drawn from the winners of the three awards, and will receive £50,000 award money to be used to invest in enhancing their KEC activities.

The shortlisted projects demonstrate how KEC professionals work to help remove some of the barriers to business engagement, with strong relationships facilitated by the KEC teams to drive work towards a shared goal. 

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Further information


Amy Firth: | 01223 659950

Katie Clark: | 01793 444387

Notes to editors

  1. Details of the finalists and their projects is available at: Photographs of the winners will be circulated following the event.

  2. About the Impact Awards: PraxisUnico and the Research Councils (under RCUK) are working together 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.

    The Impact Awards for KEC professionals:

    • recognises the important contribution made by KEC professionals working with researchers in turning excellent research into impact
    • enables the sharing of best practice in KEC amongst the varied community served by the Research Councils and PraxisUnico
    • stimulates innovative approaches to KEC activities in UK research organisations and beyond.

    The competition replaces the PraxisUnico Impact Awards and the BBSRC Activating Impact competition.

  3. PraxisUnico is the UK's leading professional association for knowledge exchange and commercialisation (KEC) practitioners. It provides a voice for the sector and facilitates interactions between public sector research, business and government. PraxisUnico delivers continuing professional development programmes, tools and services around the world, promoting best practice knowledge transfer. In the past 10 years it has trained over 3,300 practitioners from over 40 countries. Find out more at

  4. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Our collective ambition is to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. The Research Councils are central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact. Together, we invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today. Our investments create new knowledge through: funding research excellence; responding to society’s challenges; developing skills, leadership and infrastructure; and leading the UK’s research direction. We drive innovation through: creating environments and brokering partnerships; co-delivering research and innovation with over 2,500 businesses, 1,000 of which are SMEs; and providing intelligence for policy making. Find out more about our work at

    The seven UK Research Councils are:

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