KE Awards 2021 Finalists Announced

Friday 15th October 2021

Each year PraxisAuril celebrates the achievements, innovations, and sector stories from the world of Knowledge Exchange, and this year we are as pleased as always to announce our finalists. 17 finalists have been confirmed for this year’s KE Awards, sponsored by UKRI, across six award categories.

The awards received over 60 entries this year, all such a high quality and impact, making the judges role of assessing and shortlisting more challenging than ever.

The judges had some very difficult choices to make this year. Despite looking back on a year dominated by COVID, Knowledge Exchange professionals submitted a large number of important and innovative case studies, demonstrating the impact of effective Knowledge Exchange in a time of pandemic.”

- Dr David Secher – PraxisAuril, Patron and Chair of KE Awards Judging Panel

We are pleased to announce the following award finalists: 

KE Partnership of the Year

This award recognises the success of an external partnership which demonstrates the value of collaboration.

  • Institute of Coding - University of Bath
  • SUNRISE - Swansea University
  • Aura - An innovation-led partnership for Green Growth in the Humber - Aura, University of Hull

Academic Engagement of the Year

This award recognises an initiative which demonstrates innovative ways to drive awareness of and increase impactful KE activity with and through academic colleagues.

  • Turing Data Study Groups - The Alan Turing Institute
  • Making an Impact 2021 - Promoting Innovation and Knowledge Exchange for 820 academic-related staff across 30 institutions – University of Liverpool
  • Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN) – University of Sheffield

KE Deal of the Year

This award recognises a KE team or professional for delivery of outstanding impact through a particular deal (licensing, spinout, royalty etc.).

  • Apollo Therapeutics – Attracting major investment to empower a unique, multi-university portfolio-based biopharmaceuticals venture - UCL Business and on behalf of Imperial College London and University of Cambridge
  • Management of Stress Risks in the Workplace: Enhancing and modernising the existing tools and evidence base to improve worker wellbeing and organisational sustainability - University of Hull

KE Team of the Year

This award recognises a KE team who have significantly exceeded expectations to deliver innovation and value to their colleagues and institution as a whole.

  • Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation - Engineering, Imperial's Enterprise - Imperial College London
  • Virtual Forum for Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences - KTN / ICMS / INI / Newton Gateway
  • University of Central Lancashire Creative Innovation Zone - University of Central Lancashire

Place-Based Initiative of the Year

This award recognises the success of a place-based KE initiative which demonstrates the value and impact that collaborative KE activity can have on a local ecosystem.

  • Space Park Leicester - University of Leicester
  • NTU Women in Leadership - Nottingham Trent University
  • Anchoring collaborative R&D in the Northeast of Scotland: The National Decommissioning Centre – University of Aberdeen

Pandemic Pivot of the Year

This special award for 2021 recognises innovative and impactful initiatives which were implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, and which have the potential to be applied across disciplines and/or to support innovation in other priority areas (e.g. climate change).

  • Adopt a Business Initiative - Interface – The Knowledge Connection for business
  • Testing Times at University of Exeter
  • STEAM-based Remote Open Innovation - Birmingham City University

In contrast to previous years, we have decided not to run the Volunteer of the Year award in 2021. The contribution of expert practitioner volunteers is central to PraxisAuril’s delivery model and its success – through them we harness a great diversity of experience and perspective, to benefit the entire KE sector. During the last 18 months many of our volunteer colleagues went far above and beyond to enable PraxisAuril to continue to offer online versions of training and other programmes. Rather than choosing one ‘winner’ for this category in 2021, we will be recognising the special efforts of multiple nominees.

UKRI would like to congratulate all of the finalists of the PraxisAuril KE Awards. In what has been a challenging year for everyone, the work of all the finalists helps demonstrate the powerful role knowledge exchange plays in delivering benefits locally, nationally and in some cases internationally to the economy and society. UKRI is proud to support such a vibrant community by sponsoring the PraxisAuril KE Awards in 2021.”

- Dr Tony Soteriou - Director of Commercialisation, UKRI

Winners will be announced at a dedicated, digital awards ceremony on the 18th of November 2021 at 4pm. We would like to invite you to attend this open event to celebrate the 2021 KE Award winners. Keep an eye on our Events Page to book your ticket.


About the KE Awards

The KE Awards are organised by PraxisAuril, the UK’s world-leading professional association for Knowledge Exchange practitioners.  The Awards showcase and celebrate the role of KE professionals in facilitating economic, social and cultural impact from the research base through collaboration with external partners.  Such collaborations are so important to our post-pandemic recovery, as well as to ongoing national R&D strategy.

The KE Awards are supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

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.


Enquiries to Leanne Kenyon, Marketing Executive, PraxisAuril –

Twitter - @PraxisAuril