Transforming knowledge into economic benefits -- EPSRC's First Knowledge Transfer Challenge Awards

Invitation for Journalists

Transforming Knowledge into Economic Benefits

EPSRC's First Knowledge Transfer Challenge Awards

Tuesday 21st November 2006
Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA
6.30 pm -10.30 pm
(interview opportunities available between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm)

From dealing with mine water pollution to innovative wound care, the finalists in EPSRC's first ever Knowledge Transfer Challenge reflect the huge area covered by research in engineering and the physical sciences in the UK.

With almost a million pounds in prizes at stake the competitors had to convince the judging panel, in a Dragon's Den style approach, that they are offering the best investment for the prize money. The five finalists already have a strong record in knowledge transfer activity, where their research has been transformed into a business venture. They also had to show the panel that they have innovative ideas for undertaking future knowledge transfer activity.

The five finalists and their KT track record:

  • Aston University
    Improving the effectiveness and cutting the cost of wound care

  • University of Edinburgh
    Spearheading innovation in electronics from iPod components to low cost sensors for cameras

  • University of Leeds
    State of the art mobility aids to better detection of counterfeit banknotes

  • University of Manchester
    Major advances in getting different computer systems to talk to each other

  • Newcastle University
    Tackling pollution legacies at disused mines

(details on their knowledge transfer work and competition bids are available from the EPSRC Press Office, see contact details below).

The awards are being hosted by Malcolm Wicks, Minister for Science and Innovation, and Professor John O'Reilly, Chief Executive of EPSRC.

"Today's research provides the basis for tomorrow's products and services and for the economic impact that flows there from," said Professor John O'Reilly. "The key to turning knowledge into real benefits is providing a route to exploitation. The EPSRC KT Challenge Awards provide one such route and hopefully the inspiration for other researchers to follow suit and realise the full potential of their work in years to come."

Notes for Editors:

There is an opportunity to talk to each of the five finalists at the event reception between 6.30 and 7.30 pm and the winner will be announced during the awards dinner between 7.30 and 10.30 pm (journalists who just want to attend the reception can arrange to have the result e-mailed through to them after the dinner). There are also a limited number of places for journalists at the dinner.

If you would like to attend please reply to this e-mail, providing the following details:

I would like to attend the reception between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm: yes/no
I would like to attend the dinner between 7.30 pm and 10.30 pm: yes/no
I would like the details of the winner e-mailed to me: yes/no
Contact e-mail:
Contact telephone number:

The panel of judges:

  • Lord Alec Broers, Chair, House of Lords Select Committee for Science and Technology

  • Dr Catherine Beech, DTI Technology Strategy Board and Founding Partner, Cambridge Gateway Fund

  • Dr David Clarke - Head of Technology Strategy at Rolls-Royce, Chair of EPSRC User Panel

  • Professor Peter Grindrod - President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

  • Dr Randal Richards, Director of Research and Innovation at EPSRC

This is the first EPSRC KT Challenge. It was open to universities that are holders of an EPSRC Collaborative Training Account, awarded on the basis of a business plan.

The winner will receive 500k and an EPSRC CASE award worth more than 60k. This provides money for a student to work in partnership with industry for three and a half years.

The four runners up will each receive 100k. All prize money will be used to pursue the knowledge transfer activity proposal that each finalist submitted for the competition.

Directions to the Institution of Civil Engineers: Address: One Great George Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AA (nearest tube is Westminster). A full site map and directions can be found at:


The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. The EPSRC is investing 650 million this year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC also actively promotes public awareness of science and engineering. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. Website address for more information on EPSRC:

For more information:

Descriptions of the five finalists' track record in KT and their innovative ideas for promoting future knowledge transfer activities are available from the EPSRC press office, plus a number of images.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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