Plant scientists on the BBSRC Innovator of the Year shortlist

13th Feb 2014

Andy Greenland and his team from NIAB, John Love and his team from the University of Exeter, and Cathie Martin and Eugenio Butelli from the John Innes Centre are all shortlisted finalists for the 2014 BBSRC Innovator of the Year competition. 

They will be competing to be crowned Innovator of the Year 2014 at a high-profile event in London on 20 March 2014 in recognition of their efforts to take their innovation beyond the lab to deliver social and economic benefits.

Three finalists will compete in each of the three categories of 'Commercial Innovator', 'Social Innovator' and 'Most Promising Innovator' which are aimed at reflecting the breadth of the benefits delivered by BBSRC's investment in UK bioscience. One of the category winners will then be chosen as the overall Innovator of the Year.

Winners in each category will receive a £15,000 award for them to support their research, training or other activities promoting economic or social impact. The overall winner will receive a further £15,000.

The finalists will be judged by an expert independent panel. The judges will be looking to recognise those innovators who have worked the hardest and gone the furthest to take their science out of the lab to deliver impact.

The finalists are:

Commercial Innovator

Curtis Dobson, The University of Manchester – Serial innovations focussing on the treatment or detection of infectious agents on medical device surfaces

Neil Gibbs and Catherine O'Neill, The University of Manchester – Novel approaches to safe skin healthcare – Curapel

Ross Houston and Steve Bishop, The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh – A genetic test for disease resistant Atlantic salmon

Social Innovator

Luke Alphey, The Pirbright Institute – Genetic control of pest insects (Oxitec Ltd)

Neil Bruce and team, University of York – Engineering plants for the remediation of explosives pollution

Andy Greenland and team, National Institute of Agricultural Botany – Re-synthesis of hexaploid genomes for wheat improvement

Most Promising Innovator

Che John Connon, University of Reading – Gel encapsulation as an alternative to cryopreservation for the storage and shipment of therapeutic cells

John Love and team, University of Exeter – Fourth generation biofuels: The production of retail-grade diesel by synthetic biology

Cathie Martin and Eugenio Butelli, John Innes Centre – Enhancement of bioactives in crops for comparative nutritional assays and nutritional improvement

Innovator of the Year is one of BBSRC's Fostering Innovation competitions that aim to promote excellence amongst researchers, knowledge exchange practitioners, departments and institutions by recognising successful approaches to innovation and impact in the biosciences.

More information about Innovator of the Year can be found at:

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