UCLan’s Creative Innovation Zone shortlisted for national award

Posted on - 22nd October, 2021 - 9:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Education, Preston News, UCLan
A meeting at UCLan’s Creative Innovation Zone

UCLan’s Creative Innovation Zone has reached the finals in the Team of the Year category at the KE Awards.


The initiative is based within the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries and helps businesses meet their commercial challenges through academic and student-led problem-solving.

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Seventeen finalists reached the 2021 KE Awards, sponsored by UKRI, across six award categories. The awards highlight the high standards of UK Knowledge Exchange and celebrate the people, partnerships, deals and initiatives that generate this activity.

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Emma Speed, Director of Enterprise within the Creative Innovation Zone, said: “This is fantastic news for the CIZ team and is indicative of how thinking creatively and working in an interdisciplinary way can make a big impact on industry, communities and our team.


“UCLan is a university which thinks differently, and as a result, delivers unique and dynamic knowledge transfer initiatives.”

UCLan said all CIZ activities are managed in-house within an agency style framework. They use a five-step process to triage employer challenges, matching them with a combination of academics and students.

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The KE Awards received over 60 entries this year, making the judge’s role of assessing and shortlisting more challenging.

Dr David Secher, PraxisAuril, Patron and Chair of the KE Awards judging panel, said: “The judges had some difficult choices to make this year.

“Despite looking back on a year dominated by Covid, Knowledge Exchange professionals submitted a large number of important and innovative case studies, demonstrating the impact of effective knowledge exchange in a time of the pandemic.”

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The UCLan initiative often features unusual course pairings working with contrasting industries.

Examples include:

  • Engineering and nursing students completing a gap analysis for BAE Systems
  • Marketing and history students redesigning the high street
  • Journalism and sociology students collaborating with Age UK
  • Fashion promotion and business students diversifying product ranges for playground manufacturers.

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Dr Tony Soteriou, UKRI’s Director of Commercialisation, added: “UKRI would like to congratulate all of the finalists of the PraxisAuril KE Awards.

“In what has been a challenging year for everyone, the work of all the finalists helps demonstrate the powerful role knowledge exchange plays in delivering benefits locally, nationally and in some cases internationally to the economy and society.

“UKRI is proud to support such a vibrant community by sponsoring the PraxisAuril KE Awards in 2021.”

Winners will be announced at a digital awards ceremony on 18 November 2021 at 4.00pm.

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