The ACES, now in their fifth year, are the only pan-European awards for enterprise in university and public research institutes. They give public recognition to those researchers, engineers, professors, students and government officials in Europe who have done the most to foster a culture of enterprise on campus. This can be through taking the risk of launching a spinout company, developing a discovery into a marketable innovation, or promoting policies that create a receptive environment for entrepreneurship on campus. They draw nominations from all sectors, disciplines and countries in Europe, and are judged by the Science|Business Innovation Board, a leadership panel co-founded by Science|Business, business schools INSEAD and ESADE, in association with Microsoft and BP.
In 2013, nominated spin-outs competed for the following four awards:
- Life Sciences Award - For spin-outs based on research in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostics and other life sciences sectors.
- Materials & Chemicals Award - For spin-outs based on research in new materials, chemicals or engineering sectors.
- Energy & Environment Award - For spin-outs based on research in energy, climate and environment technologies.
- ICT Award - For spin-outs based on research in computer, telecommunications, online hardware, software, services and sectoral application of ICT (e.g. e-health)
Awards winners are selected through a two-step judging process. In April 2013, a high-level selection committee that comprises representatives from academia, the industry and venture capital selected finalists in each category. All the ACES finalists were then invited to join the ACES conference to present their business during a 3-minute "elevator-pitch" in front of the audience to convince the members of the Science|Business Innovation Board, the distinguished jury of the ACES.
The Science|Business Innovation Board AISBL
To encourage public dialogue about innovation policy in Europe, Science|Business began organising in 2007 a blue-ribbon panel of leaders in industry, academia and policy. The board was incorporated as a not-for-profit association in 2009, with business schools INSEAD and ESADE in association with Microsoft and BP. The Board has expanded to include Imperial College London, Aalto university, SKF, Foley & Lardner and GE. The Science|Business Innovation Board meets four times a year to debate important aspects of European innovation policy, and to formulate recommendations for policy action. It also names the winners to the annual ACES awards.
For more information, see www.sciencebusiness.net/innovationboard
ACES 2013 Conference and Awards
The 5th edition of the Academic Enterprise Awards was celebrated in a conference in the European Parliament on 4 June 2013.
The conference was followed by an Award Ceremony, opened by Jerzy Buzek, Member and Former President of the European Parliament, and a Gala Dinner organised in cooperation with the European Commission's University-Business Forum.