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Professor Ian Givens wins BBSRC 'Innovator of the Year' award

Ian Givens

Professor Ian Givens

'Innovation is at the heart of research at Reading, and I am lucky enough to work in one of the best possible research environments of its kind.' Professor Ian Givens

Professor Ian Givens, from the University of Reading's School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, has been named as the BBSRC Innovator of the Year.

The prize recognises Professor Givens' work on reducing the saturated fat content of milk, by changing the diet of dairy cows, making milk even healthier without reducing its overall fat content.

His innovation is already on the shelves and benefitting three million milk consumers, having been taken up by Marks & Spencer for their own main brand of milk.

Professor Givens was named both Social Innovator of the Year, as well as winning the overall Innovator of the Year prize, winning a total of £30,000 to support his research.

Professor Givens said: "I am honored and very surprised to be named the BBSRC Innovator of the Year. Innovation is at the heart of research at Reading, and I am lucky enough to work in one of the best possible research environments of its kind. Much of my research in this area has been supported by BBSRC DRINC which is an excellent model for integrating research with industry.

"Research into links between food and health is increasingly important. Obesity, heart disease and cancer are among the biggest challenges facing society today, but innovations in nutrition and food production can provide part of the answer.

"I am delighted that my work is already helping millions of consumers to get even more health benefits from milk, and I am looking forward to continuing my research in this area."

Professor Givens was one of nine shortlisted finalists and saw off competition from scientists from UCL, Imperial and the University of Bristol, among others.

The finalists were judged by an expert independent panel, who were looking to recognise those innovators who had worked the hardest and gone the furthest to take their science out of the lab to deliver impact.

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "Innovator of the Year is now in its seventh year and continues to be a flagship event to recognise and celebrate BBSRC-funded scientists working to take their innovations beyond the laboratory.

"Yet again we have been very impressed by the calibre of the entrants this year and their excellent work to create impacts from their research, economically and socially." 

VIDEO: Watch Professor Givens talking about his research



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