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Innovative awards launched to foster innovation

6 September 2012

BBSRC has launched a suite of competitions to recognise the full breadth of impacts from the research and capabilities that it funds. Building on the success of current impact competitions, such as 'Innovator of the Year', BBSRC has expanded the offering to recognise the many different people and skills involved in bringing impact to light.

The Fostering Innovation competitions aim to promote excellence amongst researchers, knowledge exchange practitioners, departments and institutions by recognising successful approaches to innovation and impact in the biosciences.

The suite of competitions includes:

Innovator of the year

Now in its fifth successful year, this competition rewards bioscience researchers for outstanding impact. There are three award categories to recognise individuals or teams who have derived an impact from their research - commercial, social, and most promising, as well an overall Innovator of the year.

Winners in each category will receive a £10,000 award, with a further £5,000 for the overall winner. In addition, £15,000 is awarded to the overall winner's department.

Nominations are open now at:

Activating impact

The new Activating Impact competition has been added to the suite of competitions to acknowledge, raise awareness of, and celebrate the activities of successful Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) teams or individuals that make an essential contribution to achieving impact from BBSRC-funded research and capabilities.

Entries must be submitted by the Technology Transfer Office/Knowledge Exchange Office or equivalent and will describe progress towards the delivery impact.

The winning organisation will receive £50K (up to two runner-ups will receive £25K) to contribute to the delivery of the organisation's strategy for KEC.

Details available at:

Excellence with impact

The 'Excellence with Impact' award acknowledges university departments and BBSRC strategically-funded institutes for actively embedding a culture that recognises the importance of economic and social impact, alongside excellent research. Building on the success of the inaugural awards, this second round will run from 2013 to 2016.

With awards totalling £1M, departments are encouraged to develop and drive a strategy for supporting the wide range of impacts that can arise from research.

Institutions submit a document outlining their vision for achieving excellence in impact. Their progress in delivering this vision is reviewed before winners are selected.

Details of this competition will be available from October at:

Commenting on the new suite of competitions and awards, Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "We have the world's best bioscientists and we want to harness the full potential of their research by recognising, rewarding and celebrating impact. These awards will continue to help to ensure a culture that recognises the importance of economic and social impact, alongside excellent research, to bring huge benefits for the UK."

For more information on the new suite of competitions and awards, visit:

Winners of the Innovator of the Year and Activating Impact competitions will be announced in spring 2013 at a presentation event in London.


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