Inaugural Innovation Awards showcase Nottingham's world leading research

03 Jun 2014 16:30:23.737

From software designed using principles of philosophy, to plants which can fix nitrogen from the air, The University of Nottingham's inaugural Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Awards showcased the impact of University research on business and society.

Incorporating projects from all of the University’s faculties and its campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia, the Awards highlighted numerous examples of the vast breadth and diversity of the work of academics. 

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Multi-million pound software designed using the philosophy of time
The first award of the night was for a project undertaken by Dr Jonathan Tallant in the Faculty of Arts, who is using principles of philosophy to help companies develop new software. Dr. Tallant’s research into the philosophy of time has helped Canadian company, which produces event planning and calendar software, to develop new software which is valued at over £4.5m.

Accepting the award for spin-out company of the year was Professor Edward Cocking, who has developed a technology which enables plants to fix nitrogen from the air. Using a naturally occurring bacterium which is found in some sugar-canes, Professor Cocking discovered how to inoculate the seeds of other plants, including food crops, enabling these to also have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, significantly reducing the need to apply fertilizers. This technology is now being commercialised through the University spin-out business, Azotic Technologies, based at BioCity.

Protecting millions of people from the risk of floods
Other winners included a project by Dr. Richard Bingley in the Faculty of Engineering whose work in measuring changes in land and seas levels is helping to protect more than a million people and billions pounds worth of property in the south east of England from the risk of flood. From Medicine and Health Sciences, Professor Martin Green was a winner for the design and implementation of a national mastitis plan for British Dairy Herds.

In Social Sciences, the success of a Global Mentorship Programme run by Dr Ulf Richter at the Ningbo campus, which is bringing together 100 students with business people was recognised, and in Science, while Professor David Clarke’s work in the Accident Research Unit which is influencing government road safety policy internationally, won one of the awards for Social Impact.

Innovative student ventures from the UK, China and Malaysia
There were also a number of student winners, including Laughing Matters, a Nottingham based student venture which provides free comedy based courses for individuals with addiction problems and mental health issues.

From the University’s Malaysia campus, the student Lim Jaan Cherng, who has created a virtual reality prosthetic arm to help amputees practise their control skills, was also a winner, as were the students involved in the DuGreen project in China, which is helping to raise awareness of the benefits of recycling in Ningbo.

Former University of Nottingham students James Bryant, Jonathan English and Mark Delamere won the alumni-enterprise in recognition of the consistent success of their business, Skeleton Productions, which is based at the University’s Innovation Park.

Recognising the exceptional achievement of an energy expert
The final award of the night for academic achievement, went to Professor Colin Snape. Professor Snape has been instrumental in establishing The University of Nottingham as an internationally recognised centre of research into cleaner fossil energy.

His research on carbon dioxide capture has resulted in many contracts being established with governments and research bodies. Professor Snape has also developed a HYPY (hydrogen pyrolysis) system, which is being increasingly used in oil and gas exploration around the world.

Outstanding work in business, innovation and enterprise
Speaking about the awards, Professor David Greenaway said: “The University has long been a pioneer in the exchange of knowledge, going back to the roots of the institution and the early work with Boots on drug discovery at the start of the last century, to the ground-breaking achievements on Magnetic Resonance Imaging towards the end of the century.

“Knowledge exchange is now firmly established as a key feature of the research process. With the increasing emphasis on delivering impact it has never been more important to the University’s future, and these awards recognise some of the outstanding work achieved by staff and students across all of our campuses in the areas of business engagement, innovation and enterprise.”

The 2014 Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Awards winners are: 

Knowledge Exchange Award: Business Engagement
Faculty of Arts: Dr Jonathan Tallant, ‘Changing software through metaphysics’

Faculty of Social Sciences: Dr Ulf Henning Richter, ‘Global Mentorship Program’

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences: Professor Martin Green, ‘The design and implementation of a national mastitis control plan for British Dairy Herds’

Faculty of Science: Dr Gregor Tanner, ‘Enhancing the vibro-acoustic modelling of built up structures’

Faculty of Engineering: Professor Edward Lester, ‘Enabling access to a wider coal supplier base for the UK power industry’

Knowledge Exchange Award: Societal Impact
Faculty of Arts: Professor Antoni Kapcia, ‘Providing intelligence on Cuba to shape policy and to inform governmental, business, journalistic and diplomatic communities’

Faculty of Social Sciences: Professor Olympia Bekou, ‘Fighting impunity through technology: Strengthening the capacity of criminal justice institutions to investigate and prosecute international crimes’

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences: Professor Dileep Lobo, ‘Improving patient outcome by optimising perioperative fluid therapy’

Faculty of Science: Professor David Clarke, ‘Influence on National and International Road Safety Policy’

Faculty of Engineering: Dr Richard Bingley. ‘Measuring changes in land and sea levels’

International Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Awards
UNNC: Dr David Siu-Yeung Cho, ‘Nottingham-Sondrel School of Integrated Circuit Design Training’

UNMC: Dr Mei Fong Chong, ‘A new bioreactor for biogas production through the digestion of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME)

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Awards
Alumni Enterprise: James Bryant, Mark Delamere and Jonathan English, ‘Skeleton Productions’

Student Enterprise: Mark Christian, ‘Laughing Matters’ (UK campus); Lim Jaan Cherng ‘Amputees deserve a second chance! (Malaysia); Jaiju Wang and Kun Li, DuGreen Waste Classification for Recycling (China).

Spin-out Company of the Year: Professor Ted Cocking, ‘Azotic Technologies’

Academic Enterprise: Professor Colin Snape, Faculty of Engineering

- Ends-

For more information about this press release, contact Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, University of Nottingham. Tel: 0115 82 32184, or email or Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092.

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.

Story credits

For more information about the Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Awards 2014 contact Dr. Susan Huxtable, Director of Intellectual Property Commercialisation at The University of Nottingham.
  Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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