A pioneering joint venture company, Bioscience Ventures Ltd and an innovative partnership with Birmingham City Council which developed a climate modelling tool have both been recognised at the prestigious Lord Stafford awards held last week.

Bioscience Ventures collected the ‘Open collaboration award’ demonstrating impact from a University and business partnership. The University of Birmingham collaborated with commercial partner Abingdon Health Ltd to form a joint venture company called Biosciences Ventures Ltd. Bioscience Ventures was created to enhance and expand the commercial applications of IP created by the University, focussing on diagnostic areas such as oncology, infectious diseases and genetic diseases, and to move this IP up the value chain, providing an efficient alternative to the normal models for commercialising university IP (licensing or creating a spin-out).

The award for Environment Sustainability went to the BUCCANEER project (Birmingham Urban Climate Change and Neighbourhood Estimates of Environmental Risk). The project, created as a KTP partnership with the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, developed an interactive online tool for enhancing decision making amongst city planners, public health and developers to deliver a more sustainable future for Birmingham. For the first time decisions can be taken with consideration of the varying heat stress across the city caused by the urban heat island and the likely impacts of climate change up to 2100. Layers of socioeconomic and environmental vulnerability highlight areas of high risk to prioritise action. Thanks to the BUCCANEER, Birmingham will become an international expert in climate modelling.

Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor and Principal said, “The Lord Stafford Awards pioneered championing the importance of collaborations between universities and Industry. I am especially proud of the University of Birmingham’s own record of success in supporting business growth and I am delighted that two of our innovative partnerships have been recognised this evening .” 

Dr Chris Hand, Executive Chairman of Bioscience Ventures said "We are delighted to receive the Lord Stafford Award for Open Collaboration which recognises Abingdon Health's approach to commercialising innovation. The University of Birmingham has a first class medical diagnostics science base and we are delighted to be helping to commercialise this science for the benefit of patients and other stakeholders. We believe that ventures like ours are vital to unlocking the potential of the knowledge economy and keeping Britain competitive".

Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart city, said: “I’m delighted that Birmingham has won the Lord Stafford Awards category for Innovation in Environmental Sustainability. This is a fantastic recognition of Birmingham’s efforts to prepare for a future climate and fulfil its aim to become a leading green city. If we are to avoid the costly and unsustainable impacts of extreme weather and climate change, then we need the accurate and detailed information that the BUCCANEER provides. This is a tribute to the excellent collaboration between the City Council, the University of Birmingham and public health over the past few years. I would like to thank all of the partners for their past and future efforts.”

For further news on the awards please click here

Image: Left to right

Cllr James McKay - Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City; Richard Bassett- KTP associate, BUCCANEER project; Prof David Eastwood – Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham; Professor Lawrence Young - Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham; Dr Chris Hand - Executive Chairman, Bioscience Ventures

For image requests and further information contact: Tim Yates, Marketing Officer, University of Birmingham, +44 (0)121 414 8635 /  t.yates.1@bham.ac.uk