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Call for COP26 Innovation Showcase - deadline 11 May

26 Apr 2021

The Innovation Showcase Subgroup of the COP26 UK Universities Network is organising an Images of Innovation exhibition to showcase the innovative ways in which research is being applied to tackle climate change and build a more sustainable world.

The exhibition will include images from across the UK HE sector, with a focus on how the innovations developed by UK universities and research institutes are supporting our journey to a better future. 

They are looking for images that are able to communicate your innovation in an engaging, accessible way. Images should be submitted along with a short summary of your innovative ideas, and how these are being usefully applied. 

The Images of Innovation submitted will form an exhibition, which can be used for multiple purposes, including for the Green Zone (if EOI for space is successful), the Host City Zone and the UK Universities Innovation Showcase activities. 

Additionally, this will provide the opportunity to gather a wealth of information on climate and sustainability research and innovation across the UK. This will be used as a basis to curate ideas around broad themes/categories, which will be focal points for other Innovation Showcase ideas, such as podcasts, a website, panel sessions and innovation and technology exhibitions. All activities will aim to show what a better future might look like, through the implementation of innovation. 

What they’re looking for 

  • Eye catching imagery, and direct and engaging text to communicate the innovative work you undertake and the potential/actual impact 
  • Examples of partnership working, including with industry, and how this has resulted in impact/is developing impact 
  • Eye-catching, non-technical explanations of innovations that could be used to engage multiple audiences 

What they’re not looking for 

  • Early stage research that has not been proven in principle 


In order to be eligible to submit an image, you should be based at a UK university or research institute, undertaking any research which could have/is having an impact on climate and/or sustainability. This can include collaborations with international partners, with the UK institution acting the submission lead. You should be able to illustrate how your research is impactful. 

Submission, review and feedback process: 

Entries should be submitted via the online Form no later than Tuesday, 11 May 2021. You should consider the following when developing your entry: 

  • How your innovation can be applied usefully to create better futures 
  • How your innovation can be communicated in an engaging, accessible way 
  • How partnerships (industry, third sector, government, academia, etc.) are creating pathways to impact 
  • What the potential/actual societal and economic impact will be  

All submissions will be reviewed by the members of the Innovation Showcase Subgroup, which includes representatives from universities and research institutes across the UK, UKRI and IUK. In addition to the above points, subgroup members will consider the following points when reviewing submissions: 

  • Is the idea engaging and interesting to a wide-ranging audience? 
  • Is the impact or potential impact of the innovation communicated in an accessible way? 
  • How can entries be categorised under broad themes, which could form the structure for communications and engagements, such as a website, podcasts and panel sessions? 
  • How can we present multiple innovations as a package to show what a better future might look like?  

Following the review of submissions, they will be back in touch to provide any feedback from the Innovation Showcase Subgroup Members, and provide further details on the different opportunities to engage in the activities being planned, including the Images of Innovation exhibition.