Keele project receives prestigious Queen's Award for Innovation

Pictured: Dr Clare Sampson (Technical Director at Russell IPM Ltd, formerly post-doctoral researcher and PhD student at Keele University), Dr Shakir Al-Zaidi, holding the Queen's Award trophy (CEO of Russell IPM Ltd) Dr William Kirk (Keele University)

A product developed as part of a Keele University partnership has won the Queen's Award for Innovation.

The award was given to a range of sticky roller traps manufactured by Russell IPM, which use an aggregation pheromone discovered at Keele University to attract pests, providing effective and insecticide-free pest control.

Keele University academics Professor Gordon Hamilton and Dr William Kirk first discovered and identified the aggregation pheromone that can be used to attract pests in 2001. From 2014-2016, Keele University collaborated with Russell IPM as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to develop several new products for trapping insects, reducing damage in strawberry crops and the need for insecticides.

Dr Kirk, who also supervised the KTP project, said:

“I am delighted that a product we have helped develop has received such a prestigious innovation award. It is a tribute to the work of my thrips research group at Keele University. Our Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Russell IPM Ltd was instrumental in allowing our thrips research to be used to develop a product that will help crop production around the world.”

Dr Kirk attended the award presentation held on Friday, October 26th.