Suffolk Business Awards: New award recognises Suffolk’s local heroes

Scientists at Norwich Research Park Picture: Tropic Biosciences

Scientists at Norwich Research Park Picture: Tropic Biosciences - Credit: Archant

The Changing Lives Special Recognition Award is your chance to reward the businesses who made a difference during the Covid-19 response.

David Palfrey of Norwich Research Park Picture: Joe Lenton

David Palfrey of Norwich Research Park Picture: Joe Lenton - Credit: Archant

There’s a new award in this year’s Suffolk Business Awards – and the winner will be decided in a new way. We’re asking readers to nominate and vote for those firms that have made a difference to their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic, by adapting to help the fight against the virus.

Once all the nominations have been received, there will be a public vote to select a short-list of four finalists for the expert judges to consider. The winner will receive the new Changing Lives Special Recognition Award, sponsored by Norwich Research Park.

“The Covid-19 pandemic was as devasting as it was unforeseen. But out of crisis emerged heroes. We quite rightly clapped the NHS and its key workers. And there are many others who have been selfless in the help they delivered to directly fight the coronavirus or provide support to the communities who struggled to get by,” says David Parfrey, executive chair of Norwich Research Park.

“Those people and organisations didn’t do it for recognition. They did because it was the right thing to do and they could do it. We should now take the time to look around our communities and say thank you to those people who stepped up to the plate to help others.”

Many businesses adapted to take on the pandemic - from introducing deliveries for vulnerable custome

Many businesses adapted to take on the pandemic - from introducing deliveries for vulnerable customers to producing PPE. Nominate them for the Changing Lives award Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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And, it’s for this reason that the Special Recognition award has been introduced – and why it uses a public vote to find worthy candidates. The Suffolk Business Awards have never had an award determined quite like this before, but businesses have never faced conditions like this before. This new process not only reflects how they had to innovate in the face of Covid-19 but also the spirit of innovation at the heart of Norwich Research Park.

“To deal with the impact of Covid-19 we all had to think differently. Many bright people came forward with ideas to solve challenges. Innovation, collaboration and the ability to dare to think differently paid rewards and it showed that thinking differently should always be treasured and nurtured,” Mr Parfrey says.

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“Collaboration has been in the DNA of our Park since inception. It’s the way that scientists and researchers work best. And the Covid-19 crisis proved irrevocably that collaboration was key to meeting the challenges it presented,” he concludes. “Working together across organisations, geographies and disciplines is something dear to our hearts and it is what we believe should be embraced by all communities.”

Now we need to work with our readers to find those businesses making a difference in the pandemic. Please nominate those who’ve helped your community in the fight against Covid-19. Your contribution might win them the Changing Lives Special Recognition Award.

To nominate a business for the Changing Lives Special Recognition Award, click here.

Changing lives: the sponsor

Norwich Research Park is home to a wealth of world-leading research. Its 3,000 scientists and clinicians work in some of the areas of greatest importance to society today. It has a unique mix that blends a major university teaching hospital with a leading university and internationally important research institutes that enables people to gain new knowledge of soil, plants, therapeutics and diagnostics, food, nutrition, climate change, health and healthy ageing, all underpinned by world-leading genomics.

From the soil to our health, our Vision is to change lives and rethink society through pioneering research and innovation, reframing the future of research and delivering regional growth.

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