Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards | University of Oxford
VCs Innovation Awards
VCs Innovation Awards

Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards

The Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards seek to recognise and celebrate exceptional research-led innovations and products at all University levels that are having societal or economic impact.

The initiative attracted a total of 78 entries, from which four winners were chosen and a further 13 projects highly commended across four categories: team work, building capacity, inspiring leadership and early career success, before an overall winner was selected from the shortlist.

The overall winner was the Smart Handpumps initiative – an innovative technological response to water shortages and handpump service maintenance issues in Africa.

Team Work

Winner: Mitigation of arsenic mass poisoning: a unified experimental and theoretical approach

Dr Ian Griffiths, Dr Raka Mondal (Mathematical Institute)

Professor Sirshendu De, Dr Sourav Mondal, Miss Krishnasri Venkata (Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur)

Dr Griffiths has developed a mathematical framework, which, when applied to a new arsenic filtering technology developed by his colleagues, enables engineers to maintain current filters and deploy these new filters in a cost-effective manner.

Highly Commended: Building Strategic Partnerships in Digital Health

Highly commended: GDm-healthTM: real-time management of gestational diabetes

Building Capacity

Winner: Smart Handpumps

Dr Robert Hope, Mr Patrick Thomson, Ms Johanna Koehler, Mr Alex Fischer (School of Geography and the Environment)

Dr David Clifton,  Dr Achut Manandhar, Ms Heloise Greeff, Ms Farah Colchester (Department of Engineering Science)

Led by Professor Robert Hope, Associate Professor at the School of Geography and the Environment, a multi-disciplinary team of academics created and installed an electronic device in the handpump’s handle, which automatically alerts maintenance providers when remote sites are damaged or broken.

Highly Commended: LAB282

Highly Commended: Parenting for Lifelong Health

Inspiring Leadership

Winner: FLEX-SR (A FLEXible new approach to automatic Speech Recognition)

Professor Aditi Lahiri (Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics)

Professor Lahiri has developed an automatic speech recogintion system that system examines the acoustic properties of a speech sound and extracts distinctive features from it, employing theoretical insights from the study of how the human brain processes speech to emulate this process on the computer. Based on these principles, a mobile phone language learning application was produced, enabling second language learners to improve their pronunciation.

Highly Commended: Global Jet Watch for Social Change

Highly Commended: Superglues from Pathogenic Bacteria

Highly Commended: Where am I? Large Scale Infrastructure-Free Navigation for All The Vehicles - From An Oxford Lab to a Globally Leading Company

Highly Commended: Special Economic Zones for Refugee Employment

Early Career

Winner: Trusted Source Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Ms Alice Purkiss (Humanities Division)

Trusted Source was a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Oxford and the National Trust which responded to the challenge of creating resilient and long term relationships between the heritage sector and academia. The project created an online knowledge bank of concise, engaging and accessible articles about history, culture and the natural environment, crowdsourced from ‘trusted sources’ across academia and the National Trust.

Highly Commended: The Future of Employment: How Susceptible are Jobs to Computerisation?
Dr Carl Benedikt Frey (Oxford Martin School)

Highly Commended: Interdisciplinary Study of Energy use and Activities
Dr Phil Grunewald (School of Geography and the Environment)

Highly Commended: 21st Century Terrorist Political Adaptation to Western Policy
Miss Melissa Skorka (History Faculty)

Highly Commended: Women Speak Out: An Academic-Community Collaboration to Explore the Links Between HIV, Gender-Based Violence and Human Rights Among Women with Drug Dependence
Dr Claudia Stoicescu (Department of Social Policy and Intervention)

Highly Commended: Putting ‘no deforestation’ into Practice in Tropical Commodity Industries
Dr Jennifer Lucey (Department of Zoology)