The 2013 Award for Outstanding Impact in Technology is sponsored by QinetiQ, experts in defence, aerospace and security.

Impact Awards in focus

Technology

The ground-breaking technological innovations taking place at the University of Exeter are being celebrated by the Exeter Impact Awards.

From a strong field of applications, five projects stood as excellent examples of the impact world-leading technology can have.

One of the entries demonstrated a 600 per cent return on investment for potash fertiliser producer and supplier, Cleveland Potash Limited, after their purchase of a new ZEB1 laser scanner. The savings were made when postgraduate student Lauren Padmore showed that use of the ZEB1 significantly reduced surveying time and costs by testing the product in a real world environment.

Another project helped water and sewage services provider United Utilities (UU) produce significant predicted cost savings after they implemented an event recognition system developed by Exeter researchers on a project led by PhD student Michele Romano.

Challenges in the biofuels field could be solved after Prof John Love, backed by Shell, developed a method to make bacteria produce oils identical to diesel. The oils could help organisations and countries meet carbon emission reduction targets.

An exciting new material, GraphExeter, which could lead to breakthroughs in wearable electronics and displays, photovoltaics and ultra-bright light emitting devices was discovered by Prof Saverio Russo and Dr Monica Craciun.

The often fatal disease, invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, could be detected more rapidly by a device developed by Dr Chris Thornton. The device, which could reduce deaths from such diseases has been made commercially available through spin-out company ISCA Diagnostics.

Our technology research  has also been making an impact through our business technology centres which are able to offer businesses access to our world-leading academic expertise and facilities.

The Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) has been one of our most successful with more than 200 businesses predicting a cumulative increased turnover of £63million following their support.

Manufacturing support for local organisations continues through the €1.5million Centre for ALternative MAterials and REmanufacturing (CALMARE), which will facilitate remanufacturing, waste minimisation and the use of alternative materials.

Speaking about the shortlisted projects, Sir Robin Nicholson, lay lead for research and knowledge transfer on University Council and an Impact Awards judge, said: "The five entries comprise a wide variety of novel technologies which are, or could in the future, impact the quality and economics of products and services in everyday use by people all over the world.

"These are just a few examples of how novel research-based technology, developed in the University of Exeter, will be used for the benefit of people all over the world."