The University of Manchester and its technology transfer arm, University iankimberof Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP), have been announced as joint runners-up in the Activating Impact category of the 2013 BBSRC Fostering Innovation Awards.

Activating Impact is a new category. It was created to celebrate the work of successful Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) teams or individuals who have made essential contributions in turning BBSRC supported bioscience research into real-life applications. The University places great emphasis on KEC and the Faculty is a major recipient of funding from the BBSRC.

The Faculty’s Associate Dean for Business Development, Professor Ian Kimber, has played a crucial role in the work that led to this award. Working closely with Dr Rich Ferrie, Head of UMIP, he helped create an intimate connectivity between the researchers and IP specialists.

This has contributed to the successful transfer of technology, and the subsequent healthcare impact, for many years. Ai2 Ltd and Conformetrix were just two examples recognised by the judges. Ai2 Ltd has developed anti-infective peptide technology for use in ophthalmics and medical devices, whilst Conformetrix have developed platform technology that uses nuclear magnetic resonance analysis to determine 3D molecular structures of drug compounds with high accuracy. This is a world first which allows Conformetrix to develop a pipeline of proprietary drugs for use against therapeutically important targets.

As joint runners-up, The University and UMIP will receive £25,000. This will help appoint an IP Impact Officer for one year, to work closely with Professor Kimber and Dr Ferrie on a pilot programme aimed at maximising impact from the pool of IP emanating from the Faculty. Professor Ian Kimber comments:

“I was delighted to learn that our bid was awarded joint second place in the finals. I believe this achievement recognises our commitment to developing new models and new mechanisms, ensuring that the fruits of our investment in research are exploited quickly and effectively to deliver real health and economic benefits.”

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