John Pearson with awards host, TV Reporter Maggie Philbin

The University of Birmingham is delighted to announce that Dr John Pearson, Business Engagement Manager in Alta Innovations Ltd, the technology transfer agency owned by the University, has been awarded Knowledge Transfer Achiever of the Year at this year’s PraxisUnico Impact Awards.

The award recognises an individual who has demonstrated outstanding personal effort which has significantly contributed to one or more successful knowledge transfer projects.

John joined the University of Birmingham in 2009 from a career in industry and has substantially raised the external profile of the University with business. As a result of John’s vision and drive, in November 2010 The University of Birmingham and medical diagnostics specialists, Abingdon Health Ltd, announced the launch of Bioscience Ventures Limited (“Bioscience Ventures”), a new joint venture aimed at developing and marketing new diagnostics products for the healthcare and other industries. The venture will focus on conditions where there is currently an unmet need in - for example various forms of cancer and bacterial diseases.

To achieve this, John and the team at Alta Innovations brought together a number of new patent opportunities in the area of medical diagnostics and an existing internal University activity engaged in manufacturing and selling peptide reagents. They then found an experienced external management team that were willing to invest both time and money to take these assets and create a new joint venture business that is a centre of excellence for the commercialisation of medical diagnostics and services.

The new business is already a beacon of good practice in technology commercialisation and could reach revenues of £20m within 5 years. Without John’s enterprising outlook and problem solving abilities this new development would not have taken place and the University would not be in a position to deliver the economic and societal impact which is now possible through Bioscience Ventures Ltd.

James Wilkie, CEO of Alta Innovations said, “Joining forces with an experienced management team has greatly accelerated the progress of our medical diagnostics technology to market. Although these developments are always a team effort we are very pleased that John’s personal contribution has been recognised in this way.”

For further information, please contact Tim Yates, Marketing Officer, Research and Commercial Services, University of Birmingham, via 0121 414 8635 or t.yates.1@bham.ac.uk

About the Awards
The Impact Awards are organised by PraxisUnico and recognise and celebrate the success of collaborative working and the process of transferring knowledge and expertise beyond higher education, charities and public sector research establishments for the wider benefit of society and the economy.
For further information visit http://www.impactawards.org.uk/

About Alta Innovations Ltd
Alta Innovations is the technology transfer company for the University of Birmingham and provides expert technology transfer services to University researchers and external businesses. Alta Innovations connects organisations with academic expertise and intellectual property to enable effective and innovative solutions to industry based issues.

About Bioscience Ventures Ltd
Bioscience Ventures (BSVL) is a centre of excellence for the commercialisation of medical diagnostics and services, developed by combining world class intellectual property with industry and commercial expertise. The company operates from the campus of The University of Birmingham in the UK.