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2015 BBSRC Innovator of the Year finalists announced

Copyright: BBSRC

The shortlisted finalists for the 2015 BBSRC Innovator of the Year competition have been announced.

The nine finalists will compete to be named Innovator of the Year 2015 at an awards event in London on 31 March 2015 in recognition of their efforts to take their innovation beyond the lab to deliver social and economic benefits.

Three finalists will compete in each category of 'Commercial Innovator', 'Social Innovator' and 'Most Promising Innovator' which are aimed at reflecting the breadth of the benefits delivered by BBSRC's investment in UK bioscience. One of the category winners will then be chosen as the overall Innovator of the Year.

Winners in each category will receive a £15,000 award to support their research, training or other activities promoting economic or social impact. The overall winner will receive a further £15,000.

The finalists will be judged by an expert independent panel. The judges will be looking to recognise those innovators who have worked the hardest and gone the furthest to take their science out of the lab to deliver impact.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "Innovator of the Year is now in its seventh year and continues to be a flagship event to recognise and celebrate BBSRC-funded scientists working to take their innovations beyond the laboratory.

"Yet again we have been very impressed by the calibre of the entrants this year and their excellent work to create impacts from their research, economically and socially. I would like to wish all of the finalists luck."

The finalists are:

Commercial Innovator

  • Ian Bancroft, University of York:
    Deploying Associative Transcriptomics in crop improvement
  • Keith Edwards, University of Bristol:
    Cost effective, high throughput genotyping for 21st century wheat breeding
  • Andrew Lee Hopkins, University of Dundee:
    ex scientia : algorithmic drug design from big data

Social Innovator

  • Susan Baigent, The Pirbright Institute:
    Real-time PCR to differentiate and quantify vaccine and virulent strains of Marek's disease virus
  • Geoffery J Barton, University of Dundee:
    The Jalview Workbench for Macromolecular Sequence Alignment, Analysis and Visualisation: Jalview
  • Ian Givens, University of Reading:
    Reducing saturated fats in the food chain

Most Promising Innovator

  • Travis Bayer, Asilmor Bio. Inc / Imperial College London:
    Improving food security for smallholder farmers in Africa by eradicating parasitic weeds
  • Chris Cooper, University of Essex:
    Creation of an artificial red blood cell substitute
  • Oliver Hardick and Daniel Bracewell, University College London:
    Novel purification technologies for industrial biotherapeutic manufacture

Innovator of the Year is one of BBSRC's Fostering Innovation competitions that aim to promote excellence amongst researchers, knowledge exchange practitioners, departments and institutions by recognising successful approaches to innovation and impact in the biosciences.

More information about Innovator of the Year can be found at:


Tags: bioeconomy commercialisation funding innovation people news