Established upon the death in 2019 of WMG founder and engineering champion Lord Bhattacharyya, the award will come with a cash prize of £25,000 funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The deadline for entries is May 31.
The award is open to all UK universities and colleges, which are invited to submit a single entry in this initial 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 on an academic team and one or more declared industrial partners. According to the award organisers, it should not be restricted to a single lead academic but rather should reflect a wide institutional partnership.
“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,” said Professor Dame Ann Dowling, past-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and chair the judging panel for the Bhattacharyya Award.
“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.”
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.
“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,” said Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, University of Warwick.
“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.”
Entries for the Bhattacharyya Award must be submitted by 16.00 on Monday 31 May 2021. Full details of the selection criteria and how to apply are available at https://www.raeng.org.uk/grants-prizes/grants/support-for-research/bhattacharyya-award/how-to-apply