I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate everyone involved in what sounded like a terrific inaugural UEA Innovation and Impact Awards, which took place at the Sainsbury Centre last night. Norwich is a vibrant, innovative city with much to be proud of in regards to its pioneering research and enterprise, to which the University of East Anglia makes a huge contribution.
It is great to hear about the remarkable impact our region is making across a diverse range of issues, from Brexit to health. Recognised at the ceremony for ‘Outstanding Impact in Policy and Practice’ was the work of Professor Andy Jordan, Dr Tim Rayner and Brandan Moore on the effects of the natural environment upon the EU referendum and the Brexit process; while the timely work of Dr John Ford, and professors Andy Jones and Nicholas Steel on improving access for GP services won the award for ‘Outstanding Impact in Health, Wellbeing and Welfare’. These were but two of the various award categories on the night, which also included the outstanding contributions of UEA student and graduate entrepreneurs continuing Norwich’s tech and start-up revolution.
Norwich’s rich history as a city of culture and entrepreneurship was encapsulated in the welcome presence of Brenda Arthur, Norwich’s former Lord Mayor and current Norfolk and Norwich Festival chair, whom I understand spoke passionately about the creative industries; and Karen Jones MBE, the founder of Café Rouge and UEA Chancellor, who hosted the event. The award ceremony was also attended by leading figures from the local business and research community.
Our enterprising academic staff, students and graduates from the University of East Anglia are leading the way in cutting edge, innovative thinking across a variety of sectors and disciplines. Occasions like the Innovation and Impact Awards are essential to maintaining our pride in this fine city’s ability to influence and inspire. I’m exceptionally proud of the contribution that we’re able to make in addressing regional, national and international issues defining our society.
[ Image courtesy of Dr Kat Bruce and Prof Douglas Yu, NatureMetrics - winner of 'Outstanding Commercialisation of Technology' ]