Leading lights in knowledge exchange celebrated for contribution to UK innovation

PraxisAuril and UKRI announce the 2020 KE Award Winners. Our seven winners embody the high standards of UK Knowledge Exchange and recognise the people, partnerships, deals and initiatives that generate this world-class activity.

The KE Awards organised by PraxisAuril, the UK’s world-leading professional association for Knowledge Exchange (KE) practitioners, celebrate the people who help to initiate and deliver impact and outcomes from publicly funded research through a diverse range of partners and activities. This celebration of knowledge exchange is more relevant than ever in 2020, as UK universities and research organisations mobilise quickly in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This has demonstrated the value of long-term investment in the research base and also in knowledge exchange.

Sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), UKRI creates knowledge with impact by investing over £7bn a year in research and innovation through the UK’s nine leading funding councils.


The seven 2020 KE Award winners are:

KE Deal of the year

  • University of Bristol
    ‘IRISi - the Bristol Social Enterprise improving the healthcare response to gender-based violence’

External KE Initiative of the year

  • UCL Business Ltd
    ‘Rapid & efficient global dissemination of breathing aid blueprints in COVID-19 response using an express licensing platform’

Internal KE Initiative of the year

  • University of Central Lancashire
    ‘Knowledge Exchange Community of Practice: UCLan Centre for SME Development’

KE Partnership of the year

  • University of Birmingham
    ‘The University of Birmingham and Siemens: a partnership driving innovation in the rail industry and beyond’

KE Team of the year

  • University of Exeter
    ‘Innovation, Impact and Business (IIB) Team, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly’
  • University of Cambridge, Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, Cambridge-Enterprise, Universidade Lúrio, and University of Namibia
    ‘Advancing the impact of University-generated knowledge in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) through Academia-Industry partnerships Initiative’

KE Volunteer of the year

  • Jennie Shorley
    Head of Engaged Scholarship at Manchester Metropolitan University



The seven 2020 KE Award winners were awarded glass trophies as a permanent reminder of their achievement. Further recognition will be generated through a series of video interviews and best practice summaries, facilitated through PraxisAuril and UKRI. These will be available in the weeks following the ceremony on both the PraxisAuril and KE Awards websites.


Tamsin Mann, Director of Policy and Communications at PraxisAuril, said:

All too often when we tell the story of UK innovation, the emphasis is placed on the beginning and end of the process – the breakthrough discovery or the stellar IPO. Many of our stories about knowledge exchange miss the important middle: the people, initiatives and activities that make those impacts and outcomes possible. The KE Awards help to fill-out the story of UK innovation, by recognising and celebrating the KE professionals working behind the scenes to take research out into the world. KE is a people business and it’s fantastic to see our members recognised for their achievements in these awards.

Representing UK Research and Innovation, Director of Commercialisation, UK Research and Innovation Dr Tony Soteriou said:

UK Research and Innovation is delighted to sponsor this year’s KE Awards.  We are passionate about the important role of KE and we welcome this opportunity to celebrate success. The winners represent the very best of KE activities and skilled people, across a brilliantly diverse mix of initiatives.


The seven 2020 KE Award winners were announced live at the digital award ceremony hosted by PraxisAuril, on Wednesday 24 June 2020, presented by Sean Fielding RTTP (Chair, PraxisAuril), Dr David Secher (PraxisAuril Founder & Patron), and Dr Tony Soteriou (Director of Commercialisation, UKRI). A recording of the ceremony will be available to watch on the PraxisAuril website.