SHY Manager awarded Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship

Dr Ruth Amey, SHY Manager, has been awarded a Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship from Nexus to create a research translation programme for Space Hub Yorkshire.

The Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship aims to build the innovation culture and develop the next generation of entrepreneurs at the University of Leeds. Funded through a £1 million donation from Michael Beverley, a Leeds alumnus and Yorkshire business leader, this pioneering initiative was inspired by the opportunity to develop the next generation of academic innovators and, in so doing, enhance the future of the University and help strengthen the regional economy.

Targeted at early and mid-career researchers at Leeds, the Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship Programme provides a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of commercialisation, and business engagement, assisting the fellows in their ability to create economic and societal value from their research.

The programme that Dr Amey is developing as part of her fellowship is called ‘KEYS’ – Knowledge Exchange for Yorkshire Space. In the original mapping exercise done by Space Hub Yorkshire, over 140 businesses and over 70 academics at the University of Leeds alone were identified. But one problem is that there is no easy mechanism for these businesses and academics to collaborate or even contact each other.

Dr Amey in the Nexus building, where the taught aspect of the course takes place

The KEYS programme aims to make fostering new relationships easier through creation of a portfolio of ‘Space Experts’ across Yorkshire, to identify businesses or academics working in different areas of the Space sector. The other aim within the Michael Beverley Fellowship timeline is to host three events / workshops to bring together professions from different industries, universities and disciplines to encourage and support collaboration.

Dr Amey says ‘The Michael Beverley Innovation Programme has only just begun but it’s been so helpful already. It’s enabled me to expand my network from the School of Earth and Environment to across the university, and already some exciting new collaborations for Space Hub Yorkshire have begun. I look forward to the mentorship aspect of the programming beginning, and forming relationships that I hope will continue beyond the end of the programme, as Space Hub Yorkshire continues to grow and develop.’

‘I really enjoy speaking with early-career researchers from across the university, who I would never have otherwise have met. We are a cohort of lawyers, chemists, artists, linguists to name but a few. This helps us think about things from different aspects and spark new ideas. And there are some interesting connections – Dr Jade French on the programme is an artist and has a fascinating link to Space.’

‘Previously Dr French worked at Catalyst Science Discovery and Museum and won a bid for that museum to host a special apple tree. This apple tree pip was taken from Isaac Newton’s tree at his home Woolsthorpe Manor, and taken on board the International Space Station by Tim Peake, where they spent 6 months. This tree was delivered by Tim Peake himself!’

 Catalyst CEO Martin Pearson, astronaut Tim Peake and Dr Jade French with a ‘Space sapling’, read more here

‘It’s connections like these that make the programme so exciting’.

Dr Amey’s fellowship runs till July 2022, and the dates of the networking events will be announced soon.