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From Fiji’s history to fashion - Norwich university awards to celebrate innovation

PUBLISHED: 13:08 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:06 28 January 2018

The Queen's visit to the Fiji Exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre. The Fijian warriors drum for the Queen's arrival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Queen's visit to the Fiji Exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre. The Fijian warriors drum for the Queen's arrival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

From life in Fiji to problems in the fashion industry – innovative projects by professors, doctors and students in Norwich are to be celebrated.

The Queen prepares to leave after her visit to the Fiji Exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Queen prepares to leave after her visit to the Fiji Exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The University of East Anglia’s (UEA) Innovation and Impact Awards recognise those who go above and beyond their roles in higher education.

The ceremony, which will be held on February 1, will be hosted by the university’s chancellor Karen Jones CBE.

Its categories include those who have made outstanding impacts in culture, health and technology, with finalists including professors, doctors, lecturers and both former and current UEA students.

The finalists include Dr Aldina Franco, who developed solar-powered bird tracking devices now used by the British Trust for Ornithology, the team behind the annual Noirwich crime-writing festival, and an award-winning theatre company HACK Theatre, which was set up by former student Michelle Sewell.

Professor Steven Hooper and Dr Karen Jacobs, who led the Sainsbury Centre’s Fiji exhibition – visited by both the Queen and Sir David Attenborough – are also finalists.

Professor Fiona Lettice, pro vice-chancellor for research and innovation and chair on the judging panel, said: “We are presenting these awards to celebrate the success and impact of UEA’s pioneering research and innovation, delivered by our amazing staff and students with a range of fantastic external collaborators.

“These awards celebrate the many productive partnerships within and beyond the university that enable such excellent research and innovation outcomes.”

Meanwhile, two innovation fellows will be recognised for their achievements – professor David Russell, from the school of chemistry, will be recognised for his work in bioanalytical chemistry.

His research has secured six patents, and his invention relating to detection of drugs in sweat deposits in fingerprints has resulted in Intelligent Fingerprinting, a UEA spin out company.

Professor Graham Finlayson, from the school of computing sciences, will also be recognised.

He is an inventor on more than 100 patent applications, with many now used in commercial products.

An ambitious social enterprise hoping to tackle issues in the fashion industry is among the finalists.

Set up by students Paul Donati and Lottie Michael, from the school of law, Catching a Fish in Norway began in 2014 with a UEA grant of £500.

The business operates as a fairtrade, eco-friendly clothing brand, as well as a platform for young artists to promote and exhibit their work.

Since then, the business has grown from strength to strength, making more than £40,000 in turnover and employing two part-time team members.

It reinvests profits into finding more sustainable manufacturing processes with wider community impacts.

The brand works with Fair Wear Foundation - in India - to create organic and carbon-neutral fabrics, which are printed in Norwich.

The business is a finalist in the award for student or graduate innovation and enterprise category.

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