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Celebration for ‘best of the best’ business and university partnerships

Innovate UK

3 min read Partner content

The winners of this years prestigious Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) Best of the Best 2014 Awards were announced on Tuesday, 4 November, at a prestigious ceremony held in Old Billingsgate, London.

The awards celebrate the standout success and achievements of a few exceptional individuals and organisations, with finalists being selected for their pioneering approaches to British industry across each of their respective fields. 

The ceremony was hosted by Tomorrow's World presenter Maggie Philbin; along with Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering Philip Greenish; and Zoe Cunningham, named one of the most influential people in Tech City and selected by the BBC as the Brightest Woman in Britain 2013.

Prizes were awarded to winners who fulfilled criteria in the following categories:

·  Best UK Partnership - Partnerships which best exemplify innovation through collaboration and demonstrate excellent achievements by the business, academics and the individual graduate working in the partnership.

·  Business Leader of Tomorrow - This award is for graduates placed with partnerships who are able to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills.

·  Engineering Excellence Award – This award, sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering, recognises Partnerships that have demonstrated excellence in the application of engineering skills, interpreted in the broadest sense to recognise the continuing evolution of this field.

·  Business Impact Award - For the transformational effect a past KTP has had which is still delivering value

·  Research Council UK (RCUK) Knowledge Base Impact - A partnership that has delivered outstanding benefits for its academic partner. Sponsored by Research Councils UK

·  Research Council UK (RCUK) Societal Benefit award - A research council-funded partnership that has made an outstanding and positive impact on society.

·  Academic Ambassador - For academics who have made an outstanding contribution to the Knowledge Transfer Partnership Programme.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of Innovate UK said: “The calibre of entries for this year’s KTP Awards has been phenomenal. But only the best of the best have made it past our independent panel, so to be represented at the awards is a huge achievement.

“Since the programme’s inception in 2003, over 8,500 partnerships have been established, and over the years all of our winners have had outstanding successes in their respective fields. The sheer diversity of sectors and industries that have benefited from the support and involvement of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a fantastic testament to British talent and ingenuity in business.”

Starting life in 1975 as the 'Teaching Company Scheme' and adopting its current name in 2003, the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships scheme is a UK-wide programme linking commercial organisations with academic institutions to help support and shape the future of British business. Its primary objective is to help businesses grow through improved innovation, competitiveness and productivity via better use of the knowledge, technology and skills available within universities and other parts of the UK.  It is overseen by Innovate UK, (the new name for the Technology Strategy Board), and supported by 16 other public sector partners, and aims to strengthen the competitiveness, wealth creation and economic performance of the UK by enhancing knowledge and skills, and stimulating innovation through collaboration.

This year represents the 39th Anniversary of the awards, and the event was attended by more than 300 leading figures from the world of academia and innovation, as well as UK investors and international delegations visiting London for Innovate UK 2014. As the launch event for Innovate UK 2014, the flagship conference, exhibition and networking event held in partnership with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) on 5-6 November 2014, the KTP Awards have set the tone for demonstrations of UK excellence over the next two days.

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