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The annual Labs to Riches dinner celebrates the Royal Society's support for innovation in science and technology.

Labs to Riches brings together representatives from industry, academia, finance and government at an evening dinner celebrating the Royal Society’s support for industry and innovation.

In 2016 the evening focused on the theme of entrepreneurial risk and reward, and explored how science and innovation systems can best support and encourage entrepreneurial success, strengthening the case for the importance of science and industry to economic growth and productivity.

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, opened the evening by considering how the UK can better support entrepreneurial scientists and science-based “scale-up” companies and what role the Society can play in doing so. The keynote address was by Martha Lane-Fox who spoke passionately about the benefits that will arise from creating a digitally connected nation and increasing the number of women in the tech sector.

During the evening, we showcased scientists funded through the Society’s grants who are translating their research into new commercial innovations, and presented the Brian Mercer Awards for Innovation and Feasibility to researchers who are close to commercialising an aspect of their research. 

This year Professor Kevin Homewood (Queen Mary University of London) was awarded the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation for his research entitled 'Modified rare earth transitions – extending silicon photodetectors to the mid-infrared'. Professor Paul French (Imperial College London) and Dr Teuta Pilizota (University of Edinburgh) received the Brian Mercer Feasibility Award. 

The dinner is organised through the Society’s Science and Industry programme.