Liverpool wins inaugural Impact Award

A University of Liverpool initiative to improve health and reduce health inequalities has won an Impact Award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the improvement of public policy and services.

The Impact Awards were established by UNICO to recognise the diverse ways in which knowledge and expertise can be transferred from higher education institutions and public sector research establishments for the wider benefit of the economy and society.

Impact Award

Debbie Abrahams and Dr Alex Scott-Samuel are directors of IMPACT+

Unlike other impact awards, which tend to focus on technological innovations, the three Impact Awards celebrate two-way engagement with business, the public sector, cultural and community partners which has an outstanding business, environmental, or public policy or service impact. This year they were sponsored by BDO Stoy Hayward, Praxis and Research Councils UK (RCUK) respectively.

Nearly 90 entries were received, including a joint submission from the University of Liverpool and two self-financing units in the School of Population, Community & Behavioural Sciences’ Division of Public Health – IMPACT, and its sister organisation, IMPACT+.

IMPACT was set up to improve health and reduce health inequalities by advancing health impact assessment (HIA) nationally and internationally. Since 2000, IMPACT has pioneered the development of HIA methodologies and tools which are now widely used around the world. It has a strongly influenced HIA developments – and, through this, public policy.

In 2006, IMPACT capitalised on its expertise by establishing  a consultancy and training service – an initiative which was championed and assisted by the University’s Research & Business Services office. The business plan for IMPACT+ attracted pump-priming funding from the University’s Higher Education Innovation Fund.

Three years later, IMPACT+ is still the only dedicated service provider in England whose staff can systematically draw on the findings of advanced HIA research carried out by academic colleagues working beside them – ensuring that private and public sector clients benefit from the latest knowledge, methodologies and tools.

The Director of IMPACT, Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, said:: “We are thrilled that our work has been recognised in this important award.2

Debbie Abrahams, Director of IMPACT+, added: “We have succeeded in creating a link between research and its application to public policy, and we are continuing to build on this work – for instance, with our focus on equity and public policy. Winning the Public Policy & Service Impact Award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the team’s efforts and we are grateful to everyone who has supported us along the way.”


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