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Royal Society launches new Innovation and Translation Awards

26 May 2016

The Royal Society today announces two new grants schemes aimed at supporting entrepreneurial researchers to take their next steps from the lab along the path to commercialisation.

Dr. Natalie Wheeler and Reza Sandoghchi, Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton

The Royal Society Innovation Awards offer two grants of £250k for scientists to develop a proven novel concept or prototype into a near-market ready product, and the Royal Society Translation Awards offer eight grants of £50k for scientists to investigate the feasibility of commercially exploiting their research.

The newly launched awards replace and build on the success of the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation and the Feasibility Awards, which since 2001 have funded an exceptional portfolio of innovation and translation projects. With the new awards, the Royal Society has increased the number of grants available to researchers, widened the scope of the awards to include all fields in the natural sciences and expanded the package of support and training offered to winners, including mentoring by the awards panel and opportunities to pitch and promote their technologies to investors and industry leaders.

Dr Hermann Hauser KBE FREng FRS, science entrepreneur and co-chair of the Royal Society’s Science, Industry and Translation Committee, says, “We are delighted to announce that we are expanding our innovation and translation awards and we are looking forward to supporting even more of the very best, innovative researchers in UK universities to increase their chances of entrepreneurial success.”

The Royal Society Innovation and Translation Awards are open from today, with a deadline for entries of 7 July 2016 for the Innovation Awards and 20 October 2016 for the Translation Awards. The winners will be announced in Spring 2017 at the Royal Society’s annual flagship industry event, Labs to Riches. The evening brings together leading academic entrepreneurs, financiers, prominent industry figures and policymakers to celebrate the achievements of some of the UK’s brightest and most innovative researchers.

The process of translating research from academia into commercially viable products can be challenging. Through its Science and Industry programme the Royal Society helps scientists on this journey by providing grants and funding, offering training and mentoring and brings together experts in academia and industry through meetings and conferences.

These opportunities not only give outstanding researchers the freedom to pursue excellent science, but also to benefit industry, the economy and society through the translation of research.