UEA Innovation and Impact Awards return refreshed for 2020

Entries are now open for the 2020 UEA Innovation and Impact Awards. The Awards celebrate staff, students and graduates who have created successful innovations, generated significant impact from their research, and collaborated with partners beyond academia.

This year, the award categories have been shaken up, with the new Partnership of the Year Award replacing the SME Collaboration of the Year. This recognises the importance of collaborations with organisations of all sizes and sectors, not just businesses.

In addition, the new Outstanding Commercialisation of Research Award expands the category to include all commercial projects, not just technological innovations. 

Finally, the ‘winner of winners’ award - selected by the judging panel from all entries - has been renamed as the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Achievement, to recognise UEA Chancellor Karen Jones’ commitment to innovation and impact.

The three shortlisted finalists from each category will be invited to the awards ceremony and three-course dinner at the Sainsbury Centre on Thursday 6 February 2020. Each finalist will receive a trophy and feature in the Innovation & Impact Awards brochure and subsequent media coverage.

The winner for each category will also receive a budget of £2,500 to help support their work, whether it is a promotional film or other marketing venture, collaborator meetings, travel, or other activity, to be agreed with RIN.

Click here to download the application form, or email for support with your application.

Entries close on Wednesday 13 November 2019 and finalists will be notified in early December. Good luck!


 Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @UEAIIAwards for updates and inspiration.

Innovation and Impact Award Categories Innovation and Impact Award Categories

Outstanding Impact in Policy and Practice 

This prize recognises impacts of research and innovation where the beneficiaries may include government, non-governmental organisations, charities and public sector organisation and society, either as a whole or groups of individuals in society. It could include changes in professional guidance or training, direct changes in policy (or the prevention of change), the way in which options and/or evidence are viewed or evaluated by policy makers or increased efficiency in services.


Outstanding Commercialisation of Research

This prize will recognise the outstanding commercial use of research. As well as recognising for-profit business and consultancy, this category also recognises social enterprises that can demonstrate community based innovations. Impacts could include direct contribution to an individual business, sector or group of enterprises, economic growth, and innovation or change in management practices/structures or through the growth and utilisation of new skills. Impact could be achieved through any of the following means:
- Research collaborations funded by industry or social enterprises
- Commercial licensing of intellectual property to industry
- Creation of a start-up company to exploit the intellectual property
(Please note: Any ‘commercial in confidence’ material in the application should be marked as such.) 


Outstanding Social or Cultural Impact

This award recognises the significant contribution of research and innovation to a specific group, wider society or cultural institution, promoting awareness and tolerance. This category could include media coverage associated with demonstrable changes in public perception or prompting debate, increased turnover for a cultural institution or sector in relation to a research-led event, or a change in creative or curatorial practice resulting from a research-led exercise or exhibition; or public engagement activity.


Outstanding Impact in Health, Wellbeing and Welfare

This prize recognises impacts of research or innovations where the beneficiaries are individuals and groups whose quality of life has been enhanced (or potential harm mitigated). This could include a change in practice or guidance that can be traced to real-world improvements in outcomes, reduction in costs or a change in behaviour at a local, national or international scale. Where possible, impact should be quantified in financial, survival or similar terms.


Award for Student or Graduate Innovation and Enterprise 

This prize recognises an outstanding student innovation or enterprise venture that originated at UEA. This prize will recognise both business and social enterprise. The applicant leading the project must be a current student or have graduated from UEA within the last three years.

Consultancy Project of the Year

This award recognises an outstanding consultancy project that can clearly demonstrate a commercial, social, health or cultural impact beyond academia.

Partnership of the Year

This award recognises UEA staff who have made a collaboration/collaborations with organisations of all sizes and sectors that has resulted in an outstanding commercial, social, health or cultural impact beyond academia.


In addition, the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Achievement is selected by the judging panel from all entries to every category.