PraxisAuril and UKRI unveil the finalists for the 2019 KE Awards

The KE Awards are a new initiative organised by PraxisAuril, the UK’s world-leading professional association for Knowledge Exchange (KE) practitioners, to celebrate the contribution of KE professionals in enabling and facilitating the societal and economic impact of research. Sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a new body creating the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish, the KE Awards will recognise and celebrate the people behind the best KE achievements. 


Split into six categories, the finalists of the 2019 KE Awards are as follows:

KE Deal of the Year:

University of the Highlands and Islands
Coventry University Group
University of Central Lancashire
Oxford University Innovation

External KE Initiative of the Year

The University of Manchester
University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)
University of Kent

Internal KE Initiative of the Year

Newcastle University
University of York
Aston University

KE Partnership of the Year

University of Exeter
University of Oxford
Heriot-Watt University

KE Team of the Year

University of Birmingham
University of Liverpool
University of Oxford

KE Volunteer of the Year

Paul Maclennan, Anderson Law LLP
Tony Hickson, Cancer Research UK
Govind Pindoria, Imperial Innovations
Amanda Selvaratnam, University of York
David Brownlee, HSC Innovation


The KE Awards are a natural evolution of the Impact Awards, also organised by PraxisAuril. The new awards encompass and celebrate the broad KE community, both in terms of roles and activity. With the UK Government increasingly using frameworks such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), UK universities are being encouraged to demonstrate the variety of different ways they have facilitated and created economic and societal impact.


Maxine Ficarra, CEO of PraxisAuril, said in a statement;

“The KE Awards is an excellent platform to take stock and promote the excellent KE work already happening in the UK and internationally. It was a difficult task to shortlist all the nominations we received, which was the most submissions of any award we have organised. With the support of UKRI we are pleased to announce the finalists.”

“To echo the words from our Chair, Sean Fielding, on the recently raised R&D budget, ’new collaborations and new ventures don’t just happen because of the great ideas of our academics but because of a creative blend of teamwork, expertise and experience which, when it works well, is the best in the world’. These finalists are the very embodiment of what can be achieved, and they have conducted some of the best KE activity in the world.”


Representing UK Research and Innovation, BBSRC’s Joint Head of Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Dr Alex Chaix said:

“UKRI is sponsoring the PraxisAuril KE Awards to help identify and share good practice in knowledge exchange in Research Organisations. The competition is also helping us recognise the KE professionals who work with our academic communities to realise the impact from investments in research.”


The 2019 KE Awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 13th June at the annual PraxisAuril 2019 Conference. Taking place in Harrogate UK, the conference will bring together over 400 Knowledge Exchange professionals, both nationally and internationally to discuss, learn and connect. Alongside the KE awards, the event will also host a dedicated industry and networking event lead by CBI to help connect universities with industry and explore potential collaborations and address business challenges.


UK Research and Innovation is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the Arts and Humanities Research Council; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Economic and Social Research Council; Innovate UK; Medical Research Council; Natural Environment Research Council; Research England; and Science and Technology Facilities Council.