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Leicestershire, UK
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2 November 2009 | PR 09/149

£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 third year, the Da Vinci Awards recognise early stage 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:

Each award comprises a £12,000 cash prize, £3,000 of commercialisation support and a promotional film.  Three awards 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 and Professor of Photonics Engineering at Loughborough University.

Newcomer Award:  For either a student / academic researcher / clinician / start up company engaged in project begun between July 2008 –  July 2009.

“The primary objective of the Da Vinci Awards is to reward early stage projects that are cross-disciplinary and ground breaking” says Anna Seddon, manager of the Da Vinci network.  She continues, “They are a vital catalyst in enabling innovative projects to secure further grants to accelerate the commercialisation process.  Of the awards made last year, an additional £650K has been leveraged to date.  With large grants continuing to be submitted, this figure is likely to rise significantly.”

Full details and application forms are available at www.davinci-net.org

The deadline for entries is 18 December 2009 and results will be announced shortly before the awards ceremony in February 2010.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Anna Seddon
Marketing Manager, Enterprise Office
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445
E: A.J.Seddon@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

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 was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 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 institution.

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.

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