Impact Awards in focus

Regional partnerships

The success of our research projects with South West organisations is being celebrated in the George Smith regional partnership category of the Exeter Impact Awards.

The five shortlisted projects demonstrate how the University engages with regional organisations to create change.

External peer reviewer Pippa Warrin, Senior Manager of Regional Planning for the Arts Council, said that she was ‘impressed by the imagination and creativity of many of the entries.‘

She added: “‘I thought there was an outstanding range of partners across the board , these ranged from sports clubs to community centres, health and education partners and an impressive range of businesses and commercial enterprises - large and small."

The University’s Centre for Business and Climate Solutions (CBCS) was shortlisted after working with more than 60 regional businesses to help them develop and implement environmental technologies and processes.

The CBCS has partners that include the Met Office, IBM, PML and RegenSW, the Centre is co-funded by the University of Exeter and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The development of renewable energy and environmental technologies for business were also the key to success for a wave energy company Falmouth Bay (FaB) Test. FaB Test, operated by University of Exeter and Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, helps businesses test and develop wave energy devices.

The test site was developed with the support from A&P Group (Falmouth), Cornwall Marine Network and Mojo Maritime Ltd, and is the only marine test site which has seen long term continuous testing of prototype wave energy conversion devices.

The way fisheries are managed changed after a research project led by Dr Jamie Stevens from Biosciences showed that by monitoring and managing the biodiversity of salmon and trout the long-term sustainability of the species can be assured.

The research investigated genetic variation, gene flow and migration patterns of the salmon and showed how these findings can be applied to the conservation and practical management of fisheries.

Jamie worked in partnership with the Environment Agency and three major environmental charities to develop procedures for fisheries management. The result of this research now informs the way fisheries across Britain manage their stock.

Another shortlisted project achieved four-fold increase in the number of stroke patients receiving treatment. The collaborative project between University of Exeter academics and the SW Peninsula Heart and Stroke Network developed a computer simulation which assesses the paramedics’ best course of action for each patient.

This study led to ambulance services carrying out a primary assessment of the patient and alerting the necessary departments in the hospital to their imminent arrival, allowing the necessary resources to be put in place.

The computer simulation also reduced the door to treatment time from 109 to 49 minutes, meaning patients can receive drugs that reduce the chances of stroke causing disability much quicker.

The last of the five shortlisted projects in this category involved the development of a web-app which generates tours of Exeter based on exhibits from The Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

The project, led by Professor Gabriella Giannachi, used research into the design of mixed reality experiences to develop ‘trails’ which engage the user in creative encounters with heritage.

The app currently hosts five trails including one which has been designed for the children taking part in Jamie Vittles' Community Trust Kick Start programme; this is an early intervention scheme which tackles poor attitude to the school learning environment.

Gabriella’s app is being commercialised for use with sports groups and other organisations.

The winner of the George Smith regional partnership award will be announced at the Exeter Impact Awards on 10 December 2013.

The award is named after the late Professor George Smith, the first winner of the Impact Award for regional partnership.