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Winners of Impact Awards 2015 announced

The University of Leicester has been crowned the Overall Winner 2015 at the inaugural Impact Awards 2015 for their work in developing a commercial consultancy and industry research from their 3D laser vibrometry facility.

The team won the Contribution to Business category at the Research Councils UK (RCUK) and PraxisUnico Impact Awards, which recognise and celebrate the vital role knowledge exchange and commercialisation (KEC) professionals play in maximising impact from research. They went on to scoop the overall prize, which includes up to £50,000 award money to be used to invest in enhancing their KEC activities.

Other category winners were:

  • Contribution to Society: Public Health England - Knowledge exchange on the frontline - responding to the Ebola outbreak
  • Outstanding KEC Initiative: Lancaster University with the University of Liverpool and Inventya Ltd - Centre for Global Eco-Innovation

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.

The Rt Hon Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, said: “I would like to congratulate the winners of the RCUK/PraxisUnico Impact Awards. They, and all of the finalists, should all be immensely proud of their achievements. It is great to see so many innovative approaches to knowledge exchange and commercialisation, enabling UK research in deliver impact to businesses and society. This work is vital in ensuring that the UK remains competitive, innovative, and able to sustain development and economic growth. ”

Anjuu Trevedi, the lead Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Professional for the University of Leicester’s shortlisted project, said: “We are incredibly proud and delighted to be named the Overall Winner at the Impact Awards, which acknowledges our success in developing ASDEC, a globally unique facility that offers commercial structural dynamics consultancy and research to industry using 3D laser vibrometry. These Awards are a fantastic way for KEC teams within the sector to be recognised for their expertise, hard work and the value they bring to the sector to help deliver competitive advantage to the companies collaborating with the respective universities. We would like to thank everyone at the University of Leicester, our funders and the companies involved with ASDEC for their invaluable support in making this all possible.”

David Rhodes, Head of Business Development at Public Health England (PHE), said: “We are delighted to have been selected as the winner under 'Contribution to Society' from a list of equally deserving projects. This recognition is a tribute not only to the activities of the Business Development team but the wider work of Public Health England during the international response to Ebola. We are honoured that our work has been recognised by the UK Research Councils and our professional body PraxisUnico, alongside the range of other awards won by our colleagues across PHE. We believe that our robust, prompt and fair way of exchanging knowledge with industry, academia and other public bodies, greatly enhanced the effectiveness of the UK response.”

Dion Williams, Director of Enterprise & Innovation at Lancaster University, said: “We are incredibly proud to win this award. Through this project we have applied the combined research power of two of the country’s leading universities and the commercial expertise of our delivery partner Inventya Ltd, to work in collaboration with regional SMEs to create significant positive economic and environmental impact. The award recognises the collective effort of over 80 academics, 50 graduate researchers and over 290 SMEs, supported by dedicated teams of expert knowledge exchange staff at both universities, to create new opportunities for the Northwest to become a global leader in the development of eco innovative technologies and services. It is fantastic for KEC teams up and down the country to be recognised for the value we add to the sector through the Impact Awards and we are really pleased to be a part of this.”

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Further information

Contact:
Katie Clark
Tel: 01793 444387 or email: Katie Clark

Notes to editors

  1. Photographs of the winners receiving their trophies and Scriberia illustrations of their work are available here.

  2. The Impact Awards were held at a ceremony in Central Hall, Westminster, on 15th September.

  3. Details of finalists and their projects is available at: www.impactawards.org.uk/finalists.html  

  4. 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:
  • ‚Äčrecognises 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.
  1. 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 www.praxisunico.org.uk
     
  2. 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 www.rcuk.ac.uk.

The seven UK Research Councils are:

 

 


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