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Nominations open for £20,000 national bioscience innovation prize

5 October 2009

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is opening nominations for the annual Innovator of the Year Award competition today (5 October 2009).

The competition will celebrate the successes of BBSRC-supported scientists in delivering economic and/or social impact from their excellent research. Individual scientists or teams may nominate themselves for the award.

The 2009 winner, Professor Steve Jackson, University of Cambridge and KuDOS Pharmaceuticals said: “It was a tremendous honour to receive this award because it recognises achievements, not only in doing good science, but in translating that science to provide major tangible economic and social impacts. I believe that by highlighting such achievements, this and future awards will benefit the UK as a whole by stimulating further entrepreneurial activities by UK scientists.”

In 2010, a prize of £5000 will be given in three categories:

  • Commercial Innovator
  • Social Innovator
  • Most Promising Innovator

One of the three category winners will then be selected as the overall Innovator of the Year 2010, receiving a further £5000.

Dr Celia Caulcott, Director of Innovation and Skills, BBSRC said: “We know our community of researchers are doing some remarkable work to take on issues of utmost importance to the UK and globally; BBSRC-funded scientists are translating excellent fundamental research into real life applications that have a social impact and generate revenue for UK Plc. For example, BBSRC-funded science is underpinning food security, contributing to the development of drugs and vaccines for humans and animals, and developing sustainable alternatives to liquid transport fuels.

“This is a great opportunity for us to recognise the efforts our scientists go to, to ensure that excellent science is turned into something that makes an impact in everyday life. We want to acknowledge those individuals that are committed to contributing to the wider community in this way. It is crucial that more scientists begin stepping up to translate their research into applications of social and economic value and so this year we have chosen to award a prize for the most promising innovator. This will go to a scientist who has shown outstanding commitment to realise the full impact of their work in the future. We hope that this will also encourage scientists who are early in their careers to look for opportunities to develop their research in this way.”

The competition will culminate in an awards ceremony during a gala dinner at East Wintergardens, Canary Wharf, London.

The closing date for completed entries for Innovator of the Year 2010 is 16 December 2009.


Notes to editors

For more information please see:

Judging of the Innovator of the Year 2010 Award will be carried out by a panel of experts in fields such as the commercial sector, technology transfer and policy. The judging will take place ahead of the gala dinner in March 2010. The deadline for entries is 16 December 2009.

Finalists in the Innovator of the Year 2010 Award will be asked to present to the judging panel on the day of the gala dinner. The dinner and awards ceremony will take place at East Wintergardens, Canary Wharf, London on 18 March 2010.

The prize money for the Innovator of the Year Award is given to the winners to use as they wish.

At the gala dinner in 2011 the Innovator of the Year 2011 will be made alongside another BBSRC award – the two year Excellence with Impact Award (


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.

The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382