The inaugural Innovation Showcase & Awards event was organised by Innovus, the project that leads collaboration between the world-leading Dalton Nuclear Institute and the National Nuclear Laboratory.
Innovus provides small or medium businesses and academic researchers with the funding and support needed to help bring their ideas to market – a partnership that has had a transformational effect on the innovation culture of Cumbria, where the scheme was founded.
Design guru Wayne Hemingway introduced the awards which showcased the breadth of creativity and technology that has been nurtured through the programme – and highlighted the vital role of ‘generosity’ in the best and most innovative design.
Professor Paul Mativenga, The University of Manchester’s Chair in Multiscale and Sustainable Manufacturing, explained: “Innovus is a tremendous example of how we have been able, through the excellent partnership we have with the National Nuclear Laboratory, to develop and manage a programme where we brought together the complementary strengths of the two organisations to create something new.”
Professor Mativenga, who is also Vice-Dean for Social Responsibility, Equality and Diversity with the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, added: “Through Innovus we work to actively and effectively support exciting new technologies, whether they arise from universities or innovative businesses, on their journey to commercial success.”
Paul Howarth, the National Nuclear Laboratory’s Managing Director, emphasised the wider benefits of the collaboration: “Innovus exemplifies how the nuclear sector, through its expertise, great science, world class facilities and capabilities, has a real part to play in the socio-economic development of regions in the UK.”
“Innovus has helped create jobs, nurtured new collaborations and inspired a culture of innovation in Cumbria. Other Local Economic Partnerships in the North West are keen to learn how they can replicate the Innovus success story in their areas, so it’s an excellent example of the best practice exhibited.”
Best Academic Collaboration Award
WINNER: Forth Engineering (Cumbria) Ltd – AVEXIS
RUNNERS-UP: Barrnon Ltd – HydroSpyder
Potential to Change the World Award
WINNER: Typhon Treatment Systems Ltd – Low Energy Water Treatment System using UV LEDs
RUNNERS-UP: Groundwater & Geothermal Services Ltd – Sub-zero Thermal Energy Storage; Aqua Power Technologies Ltd – Wave Energy Converter
Best Nuclear Decommissioning Project Award
WINNER: Barrnon Ltd – BladeCutter
RUNNERS-UP: Create Technologies Ltd – RISER Project; Mobetrics Ltd – Second Sight Technology