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Innovator of the Year 2018

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey from Cardiff University have been named as BBSRC’s Innovator of the year 2018 - awards that celebrate excellent research which has demonstrated impact.

Twelve finalists competed for the title at The Mermaid London last night, 16 May 2018. The awards were presented by Professor Malcolm Skingle, Director of Academic Liaison, GlaxoSmithKline Ltd and Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of BBSRC.

The Chief Executive of the newly formed UK Research and Innovation, of which BBSRC is now a part, Sir Mark Walport met the finalists before the presentation of awards.

The awards, now in their 10th year, are made in a number of categories that include: commercial impact, social impact, international impact and early career impact.

A range of diverse research had been delivered by the finalists including; behavioural neuroscience that helped shape new guidance for emergency services, the development of novel fungicides to combat fungal resistance and building resilience in the vanilla supply chain to help protect the world’s favourite flavour.

The overall winner, Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey were both humbled and delighted to have been successful in winning both the social impact and overall winner award.

"We are delighted that the quality and impact of our science has been recognised with such a prestigious award. We will continue with our programme of research, using brain science to keep our fighters safe so they can keep you safe,” said Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey from Cardiff University.

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “I congratulate Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey and all the finalists at BBSRC Innovator of the Year. The awards celebrate our vibrant and talented research and innovation community and its drive to ensure inspiring science improves lives.

“UK Research and Innovation is supporting the UK as a world-leading knowledge-driven economy by working collaboratively with researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to develop the most exciting ideas and technologies and bring them to fruition.”

Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of BBSRC added: “Once again the Innovator of the Year awards provided the perfect opportunity for researchers to receive the recognition that they and their teams so justly deserve. They are a credit to UK research and I am delighted that BBSRC within UKRI continues to support and encourage them in their work. I hope their success will enable them to maximise the benefits of their work and they will continue to use their talents to innovate.”

Innovator of the Year 2018 winners

Category Winner
Commercial impact Dr Neil Gibbs, The University of Manchester
Social impact Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey, Cardiff University
International impact Professor Martin Broadley and Dr Louise Ander, University of Nottingham and British Geological Survey, and also members of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC)
Early career impact Ben Dolman and Dr James Winterburn, The University of Manchester
Overall winner Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey, Cardiff University

The winners in each category received a £10,000 award, with a further £10,000 for the overall winner.



Notes to editors


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £469 million in world-class bioscience in 2016-17. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about UK Research and Innovation.
More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.


UK Research and Innovation Media Office

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