Previous Winners

KE Awards 2019 Winners

KE Volunteer of the Year Winner 2019

Paul MacLennan
KE Volunteer of the Year Winner from Anderson Law LLP

Paul has dedicated an impressive amount of time to supporting the PraxuisAuril training mission for many years – as a practitioner working with HEIs and other organisations in licensing, IP and spin-outs. He has worked tirelessly to develop professional, interactive and engaging training for the community across several of our courses, volunteering as a practitioner to train and develop new and experienced members of the profession; an amazing addition to our training offering and to our profession.

KE Partnership of the Year Winner 2019

University of Oxford
KE Partnership of the Year Winner: University of Oxford National Trust Partnership

Launched in 2018, the National Trust Partnership is a collaboration between Oxford University and the National Trust (NT) established to create opportunities for interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange, public engagement and training across a range of disciplines and career levels at both institutions.

The partnership is founded upon mutual benefit and two-way knowledge exchange: It facilitates new research into NT places and collections, which in turn is embedded into public-facing interpretation and programming. Meanwhile, access to NT buildings, collections and landscapes is opened up to researchers alongside opportunities to learn from the charity’s staff, engagement with its vast public audiences, and opportunities for more impactful research to be developed. Activities take place through a range of workstreams, including research placements and consultancy, conferences, workshops, public events, staff training, PhDs and student internships.

The new collaboration grew out of the Trusted Source Knowledge Transfer Partnership running from 2016-18. Trusted Source piloted a means to bring academic research into the NT and resulted in the creation of new public web content. Engaging over 60 researchers at ten universities, Trusted Source developed a sustainable method for connecting researchers with the NT’s members and visitors and was graded ‘Outstanding’ by InnovateUK.

Following the initial Trusted Source funding, the collaboration has leveraged over £1.73 million to date. Now one year in, the Partnership continues to test and develop new methods for successful, sustained and mutually beneficial collaboration between academia and the heritage sector. The cultural change driven by the Partnership is opening-up new opportunities for impactful research and knowledge exchange and provides new ways of exploring the commercial value of research to the UK economy.

Image credit: Visitors look at the wooden drawers in the Muniment or Evidence Room at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire. (c) National Trust Images/John Millar

Internal KE Initiative of the Year Winner 2019

University of York
Internal KE Initiative of the Year Winner: University of York Enterprise Fellowship Programme

The University of York Enterprise Fellowship Programme is an internal collaborative initiative that provides time and support for researchers from all disciplines to develop their ideas, enhance commercial awareness and develop skills for enterprise and external engagement. The Fellowships are a strategic investment in research-talent and a commitment to developing the Knowledge Exchange (KE) and impact capabilities of exceptional researchers. The emphasis on external engagement is transforming the way researchers think, design and conduct research. In just 12 months, the levels of engagement in KE training have doubled and there is a palpable appetite to develop external relationships and get world-leading ideas out into wider society.

“Only by equipping our researchers with the best possible training and support can we maximise the opportunities for successful external engagement, KE and, ultimately, impact. We intend to build on the early success of the Enterprise Fellowship programme to cement a culture in which external engagement, enterprise and world class research are synonymous.” Dr David McBeth, Director of Research and Enterprise

The two 2018 Fellows have formed partnerships with key stakeholders in their respective supply chains and are close to spinning-out their ideas. The four 2019 Enterprise Fellows are exploring how to:

  • accelerate the diagnosis of health conditions, such as cancer, through a finger-print enabled spectroscopy – Yvette Hancock, Physics
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions through field-based data capture technology – James Stockdale, Environment
  • diagnose early stage Alzheimer’s Disease through a 7-minute tablet-based psychological test – Tom Hartley, Psychology
  • increase the amount of recyclable plastic by identifying through computer modelling how problem additives can be extracted from plastic – James Comerford, Chemistry

The EF programme is a commitment to providing researchers with an environment in which these big societal questions can be explored, and the careers of talented researchers accelerated.

External KE Initiative of the Year Winner

University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)
External KE Initiative of the Year Winner: Scale Up 4 Growth

Scale Up 4 Growth (S4G) is an innovative, £2.7m programme, designed by University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)’s Research, Business and Innovation (RBI) team and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

S4G is a 3-year, free programme of support for businesses in the West of England (WoE) that are looking to grow, expand and scale. The programme is delivered by the unique S4G Partnership of University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) (lead), NatWest and Foot Anstey LLP and includes:

  • Two-day ‘business growth’ workshops, delivered across the WoE by leading Bristol Business School academics and industry experts from the S4G Partnership
  • Grants of £10k–40k for projects that help businesses address barriers to growth

S4G is an excellent example of an external KE initiative that brings together the very best in university-business partnership working, sharing knowledge and expertise from academia and industry with growing businesses, to benefit the regional economy.

The programme is designed explicitly around the ‘five key gaps’ that prevent businesses from scaling up, identified by the ScaleUp Institute’s pioneering research: Skills; Finance; Markets; Infrastructure; and Leadership. This evidence-based foundation has helped create an extremely successful programme that, in 6 months since its launch, has consistently demonstrated its ability to directly address the challenges faced by growing businesses.

Partnering with NatWest and Foot Anstey LLP has enabled University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) to provide a high-quality programme for aspiring scalers who do not have the time, network or financial resource to access equivalent support.

Since its launch in November 2018, over 300 businesses have registered to be part of the S4G network and benefit from the programme; this number is only set to grow.

University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is extremely proud of the programme, the Partnership it has created and its impact on the regional economy.

KE Deal of the Year Winner 2019

Coventry University Group
KE Deal of the Year Winner: Hope For The Community CIC: Social Enterprise spin-out as catalyst for research excellence with impact and social value in the community

Hope For The Community CIC (H4C) is a social enterprise providing organisations with affordable, face-to-face and digital products and services to empower people to manage their own health and wellbeing.

H4C is a successful showcase of how embedding social innovation in knowledge exchange practices can lead to the creation of sustainable mission driven businesses for a virtuous circle of social value creation. It is Coventry University’s first research social enterprise spin-out company arising from a unique collaboration across the Coventry University Group including academics, intellectual property, enterprise and innovation business support specialists and community volunteers.

15,000 people living with or affected by a long-term physical and/or mental health condition have benefited from H4C programmes, reporting feeling less anxious, depressed, stressed and becoming more resilient, grateful and hopeful. Data from H4C interventions are available to Coventry University staff and PhD students for research, thus continuously strengthening the evidence-base of H4C programmes, providing a seal of academic rigour, authenticity and confidence in the efficacy of the programmes.

H4C feeds into the Coventry University Corporate Plan, and will be a case study for the next Research Excellence Framework and supports the Sustainable Development Goals Accord report and Civic Universities agreement.

H4C clients include NHS England, Macmillan Cancer Support, Carers Trust Heart of England, European Commission, Lionheart and Bethany’s Wish. Most recently H4C were named in the NatWest SE100 list 2019, celebrating the growth, impact and resilience of social ventures in the UK – by naming the most impressive 100 social enterprises of the year in the Index.

The knowledge exchange teams at Coventry University Group challenged the traditional University research spin-out models and through H4C highlighted the wider benefits of social enterprise to the University, whilst delivering sustainable social and economic impact.

KE Team of the Year Winner 2019

University of Liverpool
KE Team of the Year Winner: University of Liverpool Consultancy Team

The consultancy team at the University of Liverpool punches well above its weight in terms of added value to the Institution. The small team of just 2.5 FTE is becoming well known for good practice within the HE sector, delivering the University’s vision to create a common approach for the support of consultancy, facilities and equipment service projects.

The team works hard to ensure the research expertise and specialist knowledge within the University is streamlined and shared in a way that encourages impactful knowledge exchange with a variety of external organisations. They have successfully embedded a revolutionary online system, CONSULT, through which all consultancy projects are recorded, they have introduced a new policy and process and have achieved a significant increase in the number of projects supported.

2018/19 was an exceptional year for the team, supporting a 35% increase in contract value from the previous year. Forecast figures for 2019/20 show a further increase, reflecting the commitment of the team in promoting their services and highlighting the benefits of consultancy, inspiring staff to engage.

The team work closely with academic colleagues to understand their drivers ensuring academic interests are protected and liaise with partners to make sure objectives are met. Professor Alex Balch, Department of Politics, said: “The Team’s support and attitude is really exemplary, and I could not have completed my project without them.”

Due to their approachable, passionate and professional nature, they have established an excellent reputation internally, with external collaborators and within the HE community.