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York scientist is Innovator of the Year finalist

Posted on 26 March 2015

An expert in plant genomics at the University of York is among the shortlisted finalists for the 2015 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Innovator of the Year competition.

Professor Ian Bancroft

Professor Ian Bancroft, of the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) in the Department of Biology at York, is one of the nine finalists competing for the title Innovator of the Year 2015.

A panel of independent experts will name the overall winner at an awards ceremony in London later this month. The finalists are shortlisted in recognition of their efforts to take their innovation beyond the laboratory to deliver social and economic benefits.

Three finalists will compete in each category of 'Commercial Innovator', 'Social Innovator' and 'Most Promising Innovator' which are aimed at reflecting the breadth of the benefits delivered by BBSRC's investment in UK bioscience. One of the category winners will then be chosen as the overall Innovator of the Year.

Professor Bancroft joined CNAP in 2013 after working at the John Innes Centre in Norwich for 24 years, initially as a post-doctoral researcher and later as a project leader. He completed both a first degree and PhD at Lancaster University before working for a year as a post-doc at Michigan State University in the USA.

Professor Bancroft was shortlisted in the Commercial Innovator category for his work in Deploying Associative Transcriptomics in crop improvement. He said: “The technology we developed has enormous potential for delivering impact through crop improvement. It is very pleasing that our efforts to promote this have been recognised.”

Winners in each category will receive a £15,000 award to support their research, training or other activities promoting economic or social impact. The overall winner will receive a further £15,000.

The judges are aiming to recognise those innovators who have worked the hardest and gone the furthest to take their science out of the laboratory to deliver impact.

Further information:

  • Innovator of the Year is one of BBSRC's Fostering Innovation competitions that aim to promote excellence amongst researchers, knowledge exchange practitioners, departments and institutions by recognising successful approaches to innovation and impact in the biosciences. More information about Innovator of the Year can be found at
  • More information about the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products
  • More information about the Department of Biology at the University of York

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