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A partnership which developed clinical wet wipes to tackle hospital ‘superbug’ infections has been named the People’s Choice at Cardiff University‘s Innovation and Impact Awards 2015, sponsored by leading law firm Geldards and IP Group.

Nearly 1,000 votes were cast in a social media competition. More than a quarter selected a project between GAMA Healthcare and the University as the public’s favourite.

The partnership has helped GAMA, a UK market leader in clinical wet wipes, develop new products whilst increasing the University’s international reputation in infection control.

GAMA required clinical proof that their antimicrobial wipes were effective against the so-called ‘superbug’, Clostridium difficile.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) grant was awarded by Innovate UK and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs which allowed GAMA to use the University’s knowhow to set up and run clinical trials, train staff and develop in-house R&D capability.

Microbiologist Harsha Siani, the KTP Associate, transferred scientific knowledge and expertise from Cardiff University into GAMA, helping to ensure the company’s products complied with EU regulations and met stringent test conditions which better reflected product use.

Presenting the People’s Choice Award to GAMA healthcare, Dr Andrew Goodall, Chief Executive NHS Wales, said: “It has been a real pleasure to attend, and even more pleasing to see four of the five awards have gone to projects from the healthcare sector. This really demonstrates the vital importance of innovation to the NHS in Wales.”

Receiving the Award, Professor Jean-Yves Maillard, from Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, said: “We are delighted to win this Award. Our project shows how researchers can interact with industry ‘in the real world’ to create innovation with impact. We helped to ensure a product used as part of an infection control regimen in healthcare settings can make a difference and help infection control against troublesome pathogens.”

Guy Braverman, Director and Co-Founder of GAMA Healthcare said: “The award is wonderful recognition of the great support we received from Cardiff University, not just in terms of enhancing our knowledge but in terms of practically embedding capability that enables us to continue as a UK market leader. Working with Cardiff University has enabled us to be an integral part of innovative research.”

The project also picked up the Business Innovation prize at the Awards, which celebrated four other winning finalists:

Support for ‘coma’ families wins Innovation Policy Award
Social Innovation Award for life-changing research with homeless young people
Maths Saves Lives! Healthcare modellers wins Innovation in Healthcare Award
Low energy ‘smart house’ wins Innovation in Sustainability Award