PraxisAuril and UKRI announce the finalists of the 2020 KE Awards

The KE Awards (previously known as the ‘Impact Awards’) is an initiative organised by PraxisAuril, the UK’s world-leading professional association for Knowledge Exchange (KE) practitioners. The Awards celebrate the contribution of KE professionals to generating societal and economic impact from research.  

Celebrating the impact of our research base regionally, nationally and internationally is more relevant than ever today, as UK universities and research organisations mobilise incredible activities and projects to fight the COVID-19 crisis. Some of these initiatives are represented among the finalists below. 

Sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), an organisation working in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish, the KE Awards will recognise and celebrate the people behind outstanding KE achievements, in all areas of research.  

Split into six categories, the 23 finalists of the 2020 KE Awards are as follows:

KE Volunteer of the Year

  • Jennie Shorley, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Stuart Wilkinson, University of Oxford
  • Sue Sundstrom, Sundstrom Innovation Ltd
  • Adam Stoten, Oxford University Innovation

KE Partnership of the Year

  • The University of Manchester
  • Guy's and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • The University of Birmingham

Internal KE Initiative of the Year

  • University of Central Lancashire
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Earlham Institute

External KE Initiative of the Year

  • University of Hertfordshire
  • Birmingham City University
  • University of Hull
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • UCL Business Ltd

KE Deal of the Year: WINNER

  • University of Bristol

This year, the Deal of the Year Award was undersubscribed because organisations chose to prioritise other award categories. However, it’s abundantly clear to us, from the narratives we have seen across the board, that there have been a lot of great deals done in 2019-20.

The University of Bristol excelled in the specific criteria needed for this award and was chosen as the clear winner from the judging panel.

KE Team of the Year

  • University of Cambridge, Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, Cambridge-Enterprise, Universidade Lúrio, and University of Namibia
  • Lancaster University
  • University of Portsmouth
  • Cancer Research UK
  • University of Exeter


Our finalists embody what can be achieved in knowledge exchange and the world-class standard of the UK's KE activity

The KE Awards celebrate the breadth of roles, activity and engagement in our KE community. With expectations high around the role of the UK’s research base to recover and renew our economy, UK universities and research organisations are being encouraged to demonstrate the variety of ways they have successfully facilitated and created an economic and societal impact. 


Maxine Ficarra, CEO of PraxisAuril, said:

“It continues to astound me, just how many examples of KE excellence are submitted each year to our KE Awards.  It remains as important as ever that PraxisAuril shines a light on the wide-ranging impact that KE practitioners have - and that we share the learning from those diverse experiences with our member community and stakeholder partners.  A huge thanks to UKRI for their significant and ongoing support for these awards.”


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

“I am honoured and delighted to be presenting the KE awards this year. I am passionate about the important role of KE and think it is important to have the opportunity to celebrate success. The shortlist showcases the very best of KE initiatives and people, across a brilliantly diverse mix of areas.”


The 2020 Awards Ceremony

The 2020 KE Awards ceremony will move to a digital format and will be streamed live on Wednesday 24 June 2020. The ceremony will showcase the finalists and winners, giving visibility to of some the most significant KE achievements, worldwide. Presenters include; Sean Fielding RTTP, Chair, PraxisAuril, and Director of Innovation, Impact & Business, University of Exeter; Dr David Secher, Life Fellow, Gonville & Caius College; Dr Tony Soteriou, Director of Research Commercialisation, UKRI.



About UK Research and Innovation

Big challenges demand big thinkers – those who can unlock the answers and further our understanding of the important issues of our time. Our work encompasses everything from the physical, biological and social sciences, to innovation, engineering, medicine, the environment and the cultural impact of the arts and humanities. In all of these areas, our role is to bring together the people who can innovate and change the world for the better. We work with the government to invest over £7 billion a year in research and innovation by partnering with academia and industry to make the impossible, possible. Through the UK’s nine leading academic and industrial funding councils, we create knowledge with impact.

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