Aberdeen recognised for creating impact from research

The University of Aberdeen has made it to the final of a national competition celebrating the success of scientists, knowledge exchange practitioners and institutions which have translated their research into social and economic benefits.

The University team, which includes Ann Lewendon and James Duncan from Research & Innovation and Iain Greig, Deputy Director of the Kosterlitz Centre for Therapeutics, is among the finalists in the 2013 Impact Awards competition organised by BBSRC - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Competitors will find out who has won the prestigious titles at a final in central London next month.

Activating Impact is the name of the part of the competition where Aberdeen appears – it was created to mark the work of successful Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) teams and people making essential contributions in turning leading bioscience research supported by BBSRC into real-life applications. The winners will receive a £50,000 award, with two runners-up receiving £25,000 to support their organisation’s KEC strategy.

The University of Aberdeen’s knowledge exchange and commercialisation portfolio from 2007 to 2011 included: 23 Knowledge Transfer Partnership projects, 157 invention disclosures; 58 new patents filed; 55 licences granted; 13 new companies formed by University staff; with £156.4M investment raised by these University spin out companies, which had a turnover of £59.6M.

Some of the BBSRC funded work at the University includes:  research which is trying to protect the endangered honey bee from the Varroa destructor mite; the use of a whisky by-product to clean up hazardous waste from dirty water, and unravelling the dangers of arsenic in rice.

Dr Ann Lewendon from the University’s Research and Innovation Team, said: “We are obviously very happy to have been short-listed for this new and exciting award.  It is recognition of the University’s achievements in knowledge exchange activities over the past years.  We were very fortunate that we were able to draw on a number of very successful and innovative BBSRC-funded projects at the University in our application.

“We are looking forward to the next stage in London in March when we will compete in the final with a view to using the funding to help increase our knowledge exchange work and produce further impact from BBSRC funded research.”