Innovator of the Year 2018 Announced

Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey from Cardiff University have been named as BBSRC’s Innovator of the year 2018 - awards that celebrate excellent research which has demonstrated impact.

 Twelve finalists competed for the title at The Mermaid London on 16 May. The awards were presented by Professor Malcolm Skingle, Director of Academic Liaison, GlaxoSmithKline Ltd and Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of BBSRC.

 The Chief Executive of the newly formed UK Research and Innovation, of which BBSRC is now a part, Sir Mark Walport met the finalists before the presentation of awards.

 The awards, now in their 10th year, are made in a number of categories that include: commercial impact, social impact, international impact and early career impact.

 A range of diverse research had been delivered by the finalists including; behavioural neuroscience that helped shape new guidance for emergency services, the development of novel fungicides to combat fungal resistance and building resilience in the vanilla supply chain to help protect the world’s favourite flavour.

 innovator of the year

The overall winner, Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey were both humbled and delighted to have been successful in winning both the social impact and overall winner award.  

 "We are delighted that the quality and impact of our science has been recognised with such a prestigious award. We will continue with our programme of research, using brain science to keep our fighters safe so they can keep you safe,” said Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey from Cardiff University.

 UKRI Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “I congratulate Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey and all the finalists at BBSRC Innovator of the Year.  The awards celebrate our vibrant and talented research and innovation community and its drive to ensure inspiring science improves lives.

 “UK Research and Innovation is supporting the UK as a world-leading knowledge-driven economy by working collaboratively with researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to develop the most exciting ideas and technologies and bring them to fruition.”

 Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of BBSRC added: “Once again the Innovator of the Year awards provided the perfect opportunity for researchers to receive the recognition that they and their teams so justly deserve. They are a credit to UK research and I am delighted that BBSRC within UKRI continues to support and encourage them in their work. I hope their success will enable them to maximise the benefits of their work and they will continue to use their talents to innovate.”

 The winners of the awards were:

  • Commercial impact winner: Dr Neil Gibbs, University of Manchester
  • Social impact winner: Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey, Cardiff University
  • International impact winner: Professor Martin Broadley and Dr Louise Ander, University of Nottingham and British Geological Survey, and also members of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC)
  • Early career winner: Ben Dolman and Dr James Winterburn, University of Manchester
  • Overall winner: Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton and Professor Rob Honey, Cardiff University
  • The winners in each category received a £10,000 research award, with a further £10,000 research funding for the overall winner.

Editor’s note:

  • UK Research and Innovation was formed in April by bringing together seven Research Councils, including BBSRC, Innovate UK and Research England.
  • The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC) is a joint BBSRC and NERC initiative to support innovative projects that will provide solutions to key challenges affecting the efficiency, productivity and sustainability of the UK crop and livestock sectors.


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