Headlines > News > Launch of the first public awards recognising achievements in science, technology and innovation

Launch of the first public awards recognising achievements in science, technology and innovation

Published by Rob Goldsmith on Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:18 pm
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On 13 July, the government announced the launch of the iawards, the first public awards recognising high achievement in science, technology and innovation. The aim of the iawards is to identify and promote new technologies, creating commercial interest around them and emphasising the world-class science behind them. The iawards are designed to help bridge the gap between the commercial sector and the general public by highlighting how innovation affects us all in our everyday lives.

The awards are backed by the Minister of State for Science and Innovation, Lord Drayson, and entrepreneur James Caan, who share the view that innovation will be the driver of our economy in the years ahead. Lord Drayson and James Caan believe the time is right for these awards – Britain needs new ideas and products to drive economic growth. Innovation is critical to surviving the downturn and to realising a positive future built on wealth creation, skilled jobs and effective public services. New ideas and products will provide the economic foundation from which we can build Britain’s future.

The awards categories reflect the greatest challenges we face as a country, where science and innovation offer the best chance of developing viable solutions. Each entry must demonstrate how its innovative qualities relate to at least one of the following challenges:

* Addressing the healthcare needs of an ageing society
* Increasing international security, from tackling global poverty to the minimising the threat of terrorism
* Preserving finite natural resources in the face of population growth and climate change
* Delivering public services which make best use of new technologies

Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson said, “In recent years, Britain has been heavily reliant on financial services. That sector’s success has overshadowed our strength in science, technology and innovation. What Britain needs now is to exploit the full potential of our research base in the fields of science, technology and innovation to help drive our economy in the years ahead.”

Leading entrepreneur James Caan said, “Firms that invest in R&D are best placed to survive the current recession and prepare for the recovery of global markets. By highlighting the ingenuity of dynamic British companies, we can demonstrate the importance of science, technology and innovation in creating wealth. Our goal is to get the public thinking, “I didn’t know that was made in Britain.” We believe everyone should be more aware of the talent at work in our country.”

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