Winners of the inaugural Innovation and Impact Awards were announced on 1 February at the Sainsbury Centre. The awards celebrated staff and students who have shown a strong commitment to innovation and impact, and recognised collaborations between UEA and organisations outside higher education.

Finalists, UEA staff, guests, and external organisations, including Adnams, Anglian Water, Barclays, EDP, IBM, Innovate UK, Marsh, New Anglia LEP, and Norwich City Council, attended for networking drinks, a three-course meal, and presentation of the awards.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Chancellor Karen Jones CBE, who spoke passionately about the importance of innovation and enterprise at UEA and fostering relationships with external collaborators to further ensure impact beyond academia.

The winners for the award categories were as follows:


Outstanding Impact in Policy and Practice

Presented by: Chris Sargisson, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce

Prof Andy Jordan, Dr Tim Rayner and Brendan Moore (Tyndall Centre, ENV): Europe, the UK and the Natural Environment: Impacting the EU Referendum and the Brexit process

Outstanding Commercialisation of Technology

Presented by: Glen Webster, Barclays

Prof Douglas Yu (BIO) and Dr Kat Bruce: NatureMetrics

Outstanding Social or Cultural Impact

Presented by: Brenda Arthur, Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Henry Sutton, Dr Laura Joyce and Dr Sara Helen Binney (LDC): Crime Pays: Bringing Noir to Norwich

Outstanding Impact in Health, Wellbeing and Welfare

Presented by: Howard Partridge, Innovate UK

Dr John Ford, Prof Andy Jones and Prof Nicholas Steel (MED): Improving Access for All: Reducing inequalities in access to General Practice services

ESRC Impact Accelerator Account Award

Presented by: Brian Horner, Chair of ESRC IAA External Advisory Board

Dr Derwin Gregory (HIS): Operation WALBEA: What the Americans Left Behind in East Anglia

Award for Student or Graduate Innovation & Enterprise

Presented by: Lucy Marks, Norfolk Network

Paul Donati and Lottie Michael (LAW): Catching a Fish in Norway (CAFIN)

Consultancy Project of the Year

Presented by: Salena Dawson, Federation of Small Businesses

Dr Michael Wormstone (BIO): Improving Cataract Surgery Outcomes

SME Collaboration of the Year

Presented by: Jacyn Heavens, Epos Now

Liz Rix (SAF): Science Analytical Facility

UEA Innovation Fellows

Presented by: Prof Fiona Lettice & Prof David Richardson, UEA

Prof Graham Finlayson (CMP)

Prof David Russell (CHE)


Fiona Lettice, UEA’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said: “The impact that UEA staff, students and alumni have on society, culture and the economy is truly incredible.  We had many worthy nominations in all of the award categories and the level of innovation was high, causing the judging panel much deliberation. 

“These awards celebrate and showcase UEA’s pioneering research and innovation, which makes a positive difference locally, nationally and internationally, by addressing global challenges and by influencing policy and practice across a wide range of sectors and communities.”

Each category winner will receive funding to make a promotional video for their project, which will be shared in the next few months.

A huge congratulations to all of our finalists- keep your eyes peeled for more information about applying for next year’s awards in the coming months.


Find us on Twitter: @UEAIIAWARDS


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 Technology

This prize will recognise the outstanding use and exploitation of technology. 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

SME Collaboration of the Year

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