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Impact Awards 2015

Date: 27/03/2015

This year RCUK (Research Councils U.K) 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, the University of Manchester, Cardiff University and the University of Edinburgh (watch 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.

Notes to editors

For further information from RCUK , please contact Nick Turner on 01793 444592 or nick.turner@rcuk.ac.uk

  • Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review, that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK's global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including Innovate UK, the UK Higher Education funding bodies, business, government, and charitable organisations. www.rcuk.ac.uk.
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk


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