In March 2020, Professor Chris Budd of the Department of Mathematical Sciences worked with various representatives from the mathematical community along with the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, the Isaac Newton Institute, the Newton Gateway to Mathematics and the Knowledge Transfer Network, to set up V-KEMS. Their aim was to identify a range of virtual approaches that would help address challenges from business and industry, the third sector, and other groups outside academia. The challenges may be long-standing or have arisen directly as a consequence of the present disruption to UK society.

Professor Budd said "It is great that the work of V-KEMS has been recognised in this way. I am proud to be part of a team, which also includes several of the PhD students and staff in this department, which I believe has made a real difference in the fight against Covid-19".

PraxisAuril is the UK’s professional association for Knowledge Exchange practitioners, with its range of annual awards representing the highest accolade of industry recognition within the sector.

The 2021 virtual awards ceremony took place on 20 November, with 17 shortlisted finalists picked from a pool of 60 overall entrants. Each finalist was invited to give a short summary of their group’s achievements before the winners in each of the six categories were announced.

V-KEMS was awarded the title of "KE Team of the Year" by Simon Bond, Innovation Director of the SETsquared Partnership, beating two other candidates to the title. The Awards were sponsored by UKRI, the UK’s research and innovation funding body.

A full list of categories and winners can be found on the PraxisAuril website.