The University has been shortlisted for two awards in the PraxisUnico Impact Awards 2012.
The awards highlight research from all sectors that has made an outstanding impact through successful knowledge transfer. They are organised by PraxisUnico – the UK’s leading research commercialisation organisation – and showcase the very best examples of knowledge transfer from across the country.
12 finalists, highlighted for their outstanding contribution to society and the economy through innovation, have been shortlisted from over 100 entries.
The University has been selected for a collaborative award for its research in fuel efficient, low carbon cars with the Ford Motor Company. The University’s Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre has a long history of collaboration with the company, and for the past ten years the partnership has focused on improving fuel economy and cutting carbon emissions by improving the understanding of fundamental processes within the engine.
Professor Gary Hawley, Director of the Centre, said: ““The research carried out at Bath continues to feed directly into the design of new engine operating systems which Ford are adopting and this is having a significant impact on lowering vehicle CO2 emissions.”
Dr Chris Brace, who has been leading the KT activity with Ford said, “Our KT activities have increased significantly over the past three years and the processes and results we design and generate are quickly embedded in the laboratories at Ford.
“Support from the University’s Knowledge Transfer Account has been essential in achieving this.”
The second nomination was for a KT Achiever award – an individual accolade that recognises the achievements of a person who has no more than five years’ experience in a technology or knowledge transfer role.
Dr Denise Cooke, Knowledge Transfer Account Project Manager in the University’s Research Development and Support Office, has been shortlisted for this award.
Denise joined the department in 2009 to manage the University’s EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA) with Jon Hunt, Project Director of the KTA. The aim of this three year project was to increase the uptake of its research results by external organisations and to embed a knowledge exchange and impact-driven culture across the University.
To encourage a change in culture around Knowledge Exchange (KE) across the University, Denise set up a KE Forum, where representatives from across the University met to discuss what KE means at Bath, what reward and recognition was needed at the University and the benefits of engaging in KE.
Working closely with academics and their KE Champions, Denise facilitated bids for over £160K of KTA funding for a range of activities which have facilitated the building and strengthening of over two hundred relationships with external organisations, since October 2010.
Denise said: “I have worked to develop a range of projects that have been funded by the KTA, many of which have been match-funded by industry. Initially, it was expected that 10-20 projects would be funded, but this estimation has now been far exceeded.
In total the KTA has funded thirty-six projects, working towards getting our research embedded in business. Many of these projects have already produced significant results and outcomes for our business partners. To date, these projects have leveraged £2.4m in funding, and led to follow-on funding of an additional £3.7m.”
Professor Jane Millar, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research), said: “For Bath to secure two of just 12 shortlist places is a fantastic achievement and is testament to the hard work put in both by the RDSO and by our academic staff.
“I wish both Professor Hawley’s research team and Dr Cooke the best of luck at the awards ceremony.”
The winners of the PraxisUnico Impact Awards 2012 will be announced during a ceremony and gala dinner at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Thursday 14 June 2012.
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