Warwick university launches Bhattacharyya Award for university/industry collaboration

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WMG, at the University of Warwick and The Royal Academy of Engineering are inviting entries for a new annual award to celebrate collaboration between UK academics and industry. With a cash prize of £25,000, the Bhattacharyya Award will be presented to the team who best demonstrate how industry and universities can work together. Entries must be submitted by 31 May 2021.

The Bhattacharyya Award is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and was announced in July 2019 and as a tribute to Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya KT CBE FREng FRS, the Regius Professor of Manufacturing at the University of Warwick and founder of WMG.

Starting his career as a graduate apprentice at Lucas Industries, Professor Lord Bhattacharyya became Britain’s first ever Professor of Manufacturing. Having seen first-hand how slowly academic advances were translated into real business and social change, he founded WMG in 1980 to help business innovate and help university researchers change our lives. Academic excellence with industrial relevance has always been at the heart of WMG, and today, it is one of the world’s top applied research centres, with a reputation for academic excellence and business results spanning the globe.

The Bhattacharyya Award is open to all UK universities and colleges, which are invited to submit a single entry in this round. Entries may be based on any field but must provide evidence of sustained, strategic collaboration over at least five years that is still active at the point of submission and has spanned multiple projects, grants and activities. The collaboration should be focused around an academic team and one or more declared industrial partners – it should not be restricted to a single lead academic but may reflect a wide institutional partnership.

Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, University of Warwick said “The Bhattacharyya Award amplifies the approach Professor Lord Bhattacharyya took in revolutionising how universities research and educate to meet the needs of industry and society. Relevant and impactful research is the product of genuine collaboration; also enabling education programmes that nurture the brightest talent. We are looking forward to seeing a wide range of entries which exemplify the very best of university/industry collaboration.”

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “We are extremely proud to be funding the Bhattacharyya Award, which encourages collaboration between our fantastic universities and businesses. By working hand-in-hand, academic advances can be quickly translated to industry, bringing forward game-changing innovations and helping us to build back better from the pandemic.”

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, immediate past-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, will chair the judging panel for the Bhattacharyya Award. She said: “Lord Bhattacharyya was a strong advocate of an effective industrial strategy, seeking a revitalisation of skills policy, a growth in apprenticeships, a focus on the impact of research and training and technology partnerships between industry and universities. We hope that this new award will showcase best practice in developing effective collaborations between universities and industry – and inspire productive new partnerships in the future.”