The winners of the Impact Awards for Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) professionals, organised by PraxisUnico and supported by Research Councils UK (RCUK), were announced last night at a black-tie ceremony in Cutlers Hall, Sheffield, in front of over 250 invited guests from universities, research institutes, industry and government.
2017 PraxisUnico Impact Award winners announced
The Impact Awards recognise and celebrate the vital role KEC professionals play in maximising impact from research.
The winners of the four awards are:
Project of the Year: University of Nottingham – Art-Business initiative
Partner of the Year: University of Liverpool – TATE
Team of the Year: British Geological Survey - Geoanalytics and modelling directorate
Volunteer of the Year: Phil Elstob, Newcastle University
NUI Galway Technology Transfer office – BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship Programme
Aston Business School, Aston University – TRAN-SIP (Transforming SMEs to improve their revenues through the adoption of advanced services)
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 economic and social impact. This includes supporting relationships between businesses and, increasingly, charities and the not-for-profit sector.
Maxine Ficarra, Executive Director of PraxisUnico said: “I would like to congratulate the winners of the PraxisUnico RCUK Impact Awards. They, and all of the finalists, should all be immensely proud of their achievements and contributions. It is great to see so many innovative approaches to knowledge exchange and commercialisation, enabling UK research to deliver impact in so many diverse ways. This work is vital in ensuring that the UK remains competitive, innovative, and able to sustain economic growth. ”
Gemma Morgan-Jones, Knowledge Exchange Officer, the University Nottingham and Project of the Year winner, said: “We are delighted that our Arts-Business initiative has won the KEC Project of The Year 2017. This project highlights the breadth and diversity of world-class research undertaken in the University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Arts and how, with support from our KEC team, this research is helping businesses to innovate.”
Partner of the Year award winner, Kate Spicer, Senior Impact and Business Development Manager from the University of Liverpool, commented: “I’m delighted that our relationship with Tate has been recognised by the award panel. This new partnership helps us reach new audiences for our research, as well as increasing our potential for impact. I’m really passionate about providing our academics such exciting opportunities to work with such a well-respected arts organisation”
Dr Katherine Royse, Science Director GeoAnalytics and Modelling from the British Geological Survey, who won the Team of the Year award, said: “BGS GeoAnalytics and Modelling Directorate are very honoured to have won this year’s team of the year award. The directorate have made significant impact in developing BGS data assets so that they provide both public good and commercial services. This award recognises the hard work and dedication of BGS staff to support UK innovation agenda, thereby encouraging economic growth and improving societal health and wellbeing.”
These projects demonstrate best practice and outstanding impact from KEC professionals work, removing barriers to business engagement, and establishing strong relationships facilitated by the KEC teams to drive work towards a shared goal.
PraxisAuril is the UK’s leading association of research commercialisation professionals, representing more than 100 UK universities and public sector research establishments.