University of Birmingham: University awarded £4.4m to translate great ideas into global impact

The Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) support critical early-stage translation of UK research to real impacts, transforming public services, creating new jobs, attracting private investment and forging new partnerships with business and charities.

UKRI (the UK Government’s agency for funding Research and Innovation) has announced £118m in funding to allow UK teams to unlock the value of their work, including early-stage commercialisation of new technologies and advancing changes to public policy and services such as NHS clinical practice.

The £4.4m secured by the University of Birmingham is the 7th largest award among the 64 universities and research organisations in the UK to benefit from the fund.

Funding from the IAA is hugely important – it will enable us to support staff across the University, at all career stages, to translate world-leading research into real change.
Professor Heather Widdows, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer)
Professor Heather Widdows, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer) at the University of Birmingham, said: “We are proud to be an institution that makes a real difference to our culture, society, economy and environment. Funding from the IAA is hugely important – it will enable us to support staff across the University, at all career stages, to translate world-leading research into real change.

“The level of funding awarded recognises Birmingham’s position as a leader in the UK for engaged research. We thank our partners in industry, health, policy, charity and the public for working with us to deliver impact. We look forward to working with others to deliver change into the future.”

Now in its 10th year, the IAA has provided early-stage support to projects that are now established global businesses.

Examples of Birmingham’s research that has already achieved success through the IAA includes:
A urine test for bladder cancer developed by the University of Birmingham and Nonacus.
A device to test the tensile strength of metal alloys used in casting and welding.
A project designed to improve access to justice for disabled people and carers.
Announcing the 2022 IAA funding, UKRI Director of Commercialisation Tony Soteriou, said: “The UK is home to some of the brightest, most innovative and creative research teams in the world. They have the ideas and they have the entrepreneurial energy to create businesses and services that could turn sectors on their head.

“What they need, what every great commercial idea needs, is support in the critical early stages. The Impact Acceleration Account is the catalyst that allows projects to grow to the next level, attracting investment, forging partnerships and creating jobs.

“The breadth of UKRI allows us to work right across the UK’s world-class research and innovation system to ensure it builds a green future, secures better health, ageing and wellbeing, tackles infections, and builds a secure and resilient world.”

The £118m IAA investment over three years focuses on maximising impact, knowledge exchange, translation, and commercialisation potential within research organisations.

An important feature of the scheme is that it empowers research organisations themselves to use the funding creatively and responsively to react to emerging opportunities.

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