Launch of new lab awards

The scheme rewards successful laboratory design, management and teaching

A new awards scheme launched today is the first UK awards aimed at rewarding successful laboratory design, management and teaching within Higher Education as well as laboratories outside the sector.

The awards will recognise initiatives that create improved performance whilst enhancing safety and sustainability. There is significant potential in the UK to make labs more effective while saving money and improving environmental performance. E.g. the University of Edinburgh’s School of Chemistry saved £100,000 of the School’s chemical purchasing costs through ‘cradle to grave’ tracking of chemicals.

The awards are organised by S-Lab (Safe, Successful and Sustainable Laboratories), an initiative supported by the UK higher education funding bodies to create more sustainable laboratories and based at the University of Bradford.

In this first year there will be seven award categories:

· New or refurbished laboratory

· Laboratory effectiveness

· Laboratory environmental improvement

· Laboratory equipment and services

· Making a difference (for individuals)

· Laboratory-based teaching and learning innovation (education only)

· Schools and colleges (schools and colleges only)

S-Lab Director Peter James said: “Laboratories in all sectors are facing extremely challenging financial, technical, environmental and other pressures. With these Awards we hope to reward those labs and individuals who have adapted to changing requirements in innovative ways that both meet the need for sustainability as well as greater efficiency and effectiveness. The award winners will be the standard bearers for effective lab design, management and teaching.”

There will be a two-stage entry process, with an initial short application and a second stage with more information. The Stage 1 deadline will be 29 Feb 2012. Most categories are open to any organisations and laboratories in any sector, in any country.

The winners will be announced at the S-Lab conference, ‘The Effective Laboratory’, on 12-13 June 2012 at the National Science Learning Centre in York. The education-related categories are being assisted by the HEFCE-funded National HE STEM Programme (via the University of Bradford Greening STEM project and Regional Hub). Supporting organisations include HEaTED, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the Society of Biology.

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