A Cumbrian organisation has scooped the Outstanding Social Enterprise of the Year award after creating hundreds of jobs in the county. 

Innovus, which invests in innovative local companies, collected the award at The University of Manchester’s inaugural Better World Awards ceremony last week. 

The awards are designed to showcase a wide variety of social responsibility work which makes a real difference to individuals, communities and society as a whole. 

Since its launch in 2013, Innovus has attracted and nurtured a diverse pipeline of project proposals from the supply chain. 

Within its first two years £2.7m has been invested in projects, 283 inventions have been assessed, 56 jobs have been created or safeguarded and a further 315 jobs are currently forecast to result from current projects from investment secured to date. 

Over 1,000 people from 300 businesses have also attended Innovus Challenge Events, designed to promote innovation and unlock potential new solutions, which bring together industry leaders and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

NNL’s Adrian Davis-Johnston, Innovus programme director, said: “We’re delighted by this achievement. Innovus has so far been a resounding success, with funding secured to March 2017 and the full potential yet to be realised, and holds great potential to be adopted more widely as a model for regional open innovation. 

“We’re not gathering moss and the project team is now looking to ways that the Innovus model can benefit communities throughout the Northern Powerhouse.” 

Kevin Warren, Director of Operations & Sustainability at The University of Manchester’s Dalton Cumbrian Facility, said: “I’m really pleased to see the great work delivered by the Innovus programme formally recognised by this award, in addition to the programme being highly commended at Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster Awards in 2014 and at the recent NDA Supply Chain Awards. 

“The team have delivered some outstanding results and made a real impact on shifting innovation culture in Cumbria and delivering socio-economic benefits to the region.” The University of Manchester’s Better World Awards emphasize the focus the University places on social responsibility as one of its three core strategic goals, sitting equally alongside its commitments to world-class research and outstanding learning and student experience.

The Innovus programme was established by The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, from its Dalton Cumbrian Facility, in partnership with the National Nuclear in response to reports that Cumbria was the worst place to do innovation in the UK.