From bioinformatics tools for plant breeders to animal welfare and the effects of lifestyle on health, finalists in BBSRC’s Innovator of the Year (IoY) competition are ensuring their research has a significant impact on the economy and society in the UK and beyond.
Since its creation in 2008, IoY has celebrated and rewarded researchers who have taken the outputs of their research from the laboratory bench to benefit wider communities and utilise commercial opportunities. The competition also gives formal recognition to the value and quality of their impact activities, provides valuable feedback, and helps them think more broadly about the outcomes of their research. Examples include:
- Spinout Ai2 secured a multi-million pound deal for anti-infective contact lens coating
- Public engagement on the links between health and lifestyle raised awareness of the effects of diet on health
- Spinout company Tissue Regenix produced replacement tissue for vascular surgery
- TraitTag Bioinformatics and sequencing methods aiding crop breeders around the world
- Over 145 schoolchildren and 2,400 members of the public engaged with the ‘Inside Chicken run’ event about animal welfare
Winners in each category receive £10,000, with a further £5,000 for the overall winner and £15,000 to the overall winner's department.
The awards success has led to the formation of two new accolades, each designed to serve special niches in the research world.
Now collectively known as the Fostering Innovation Awards, IoY is now joined by the Excellence with Impact competition, which has £1M to recognise institutions that can deliver a vision for maximising impact alongside a relevant institution-wide culture change.
In addition, the new Activating Impact competition has been added 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. 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.
Read the full impact evidence report: