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Queen Mary wins BBSRC Activating Impact award

Queen Mary University of London is this year’s joint winner of a prestigious Activating Impact award from the BBSRC, the UK’s lead funding agency for academic research and training in the biosciences.

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From left to right: Olivia Festy, Graeme Brown, Cath Lavery, Davidson Ateh and Bryony Frost. © Tim Gander
From left to right: Olivia Festy, Graeme Brown, Cath Lavery, Davidson Ateh and Bryony Frost. © Tim Gander

The award of £100,000 will be used to support Queen Mary’s life sciences researchers through industry placements to provide commercial experience, a new Discipline-Bridging Fund to pump prime interdisciplinary projects and collaborative activities, and an online resource to share research tools such as data sets and software.

The competition recognises successful Knowledge Exchange and commercialisation teams or individuals that make an excellent contribution to making an impact from bioscience research supported by the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council).

The winning entry, which was led by Queen Mary’s Business Development team, showcased examples of collaborative working with staff involved in supporting the delivery of impact from life sciences research. These included:

  • ‘Joined up’ training in Impact and Knowledge Exchange;
  • New funding to kick-start Impact activities;
  • Innovative public engagement activities via ‘Centre of the Cell’;
  • Commercial experience for students through a new partnership with Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable;
  • Enhanced support for business engagement and commercialisation activity; and
  • Business incubation and support for start-up companies.

The Queen Mary entry received strong support from Dr Davidson Ateh, CEO of BioMoti Ltd, a life sciences spin-out company that developed from BBSRC-funded research at Queen Mary and is now housed in the university’s bio-incubator at Whitechapel, QMBioenterprise Ltd (QMB).

Commenting on the Activating Impact award, Queen Mary’s Head of Business Development, Cath Lavery, said: "It is wonderful that the collaborative efforts of our professional services teams across the university have been recognised with this BBSRC Activating Impact award. This award will help us to roll out new initiatives to support our BBSRC-funded researchers to maximise the impact of their research."

Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Executive Director, Innovation and Skills, said: “Activating Impact is a great way to promote innovation through building partnerships, increasing participation and ultimately helping researchers deliver economic and social benefits to people around the world from their BBSRC-funded science.”

The Activating Impact competition was introduced last year by the BBSRC. Queen Mary was joint winner alongside King’s College London. Other shortlisted teams included University College London, Newcastle University, and University of Aberdeen.

The award will support Queen Mary’s life sciences initiative, which involves all three Faculties working together to help realise the social and economic promise of personalised health care and to address major public health issues.

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