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1 August 2008 PR 08/117

£45k prize launched to raise the level of innovation in healthcare

A prize fund of £45,000 is announced today to encourage innovation in healthcare technologies. The competition is open to partnerships of university researchers, healthcare practitioners and companies of all sizes.

Now in its second year, the Da Vinci Awards recognise healthcare innovations that will save lives and improve services to patients. Applications must involve a partnership of at least two of the following types of organisation, one to be East Midlands based:

Three awards, each worth £15k, are available:
Clinical impact Award: For a technology, design or process that has the potential to make a major impact on a critical healthcare issue in order to benefit patient care.

Breakthrough Technology Award: For the development of an innovative technology that demonstrates both a step change and significant commercial potential. This award is in memory of Peter Smith, co-founder of the Da Vinci network, Professor of Photonics Engineering and former head Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Loughborough University.

Newcomer Award: For either a student / academic researcher / clinician / start up company engaged in project begun between July 2007 – July 2008.

“Networking is crucial to identify the best scientists, engineers and clinicians to address major challenges in healthcare,” says Anna Seddon, manager of the Da Vinci network. She continues, “These awards are an excellent opportunity for dynamic partnerships to both raise the profile of their work and advance its development with a generous cash prize.”

Full details are available at www.davinci-net.org and the deadline for entries is 10 October 2008. Winners will be announced in November at an evening awards ceremony shortly after.

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Notes for editors:

  1. About Da Vinci (www.davinci-net.org.uk)
    Da Vinci encourages scientists, engineers and clinicians to engage in open discussion about health technology research innovations and clinical challenges. It embraces Leicestershire universities, University Hospitals Leicester and other regional health providers including the Leicestershire Primary Care Research Alliance. Colleagues in organisations in the East Midlands and further afield are always welcome to get involved in the network’s activities..

  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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