Norfolk Business Awards 2020: Knowledge Pioneer winner

Broads Authority has won the Knowledge Pioneer award Picture: Julian Claxton/Broads Authority

Broads Authority has won the Knowledge Pioneer award Picture: Julian Claxton/Broads Authority - Credit: Archant

The Broads Authority has been announced as the winner of the Knowledge Pioneer award, sponsored by University of East Anglia, at the Norfolk Business Awards 2020.

The Broads Authority is truly an exemplar of what it means to be a Knowledge Pioneer. The organisation has been quietly but passionately carrying out world-leading work throughout its history with no agenda other than to benefit the Broads themselves.

It uses research and knowledge to make a tangible difference to the Broads and to the people who live, work and visit there.

The Broads Authority epitomises the Norfolk spirit of hard work combined with humility, and this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and boost awareness of its work and this unique landscape, which we are privileged and proud to have in our region.

The judges were impressed that the organisation has built productive relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders including research institutions, schools and colleges, and the Broads communities themselves, including farmers, landowners, boat-owners, and tourists.

The Broads Authority skilfully manages the different interests of these different groups, working in diverse areas including science, conservation and heritage, collaborating regionally, nationally and globally.

The judges were impressed by how the Broads Authority has structured the organisation to enable greater knowledge exchange and problem solving.

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“Winning this award is a fitting tribute to all the current and previous staff, volunteers, members and partners of the Broads Authority,” said John Packman, chief executive.

“Innovation and collaboration are hard-wired into the DNA of our organisation and together we have achieved so much for this unique and special place. This paves the way for us to manage the Broads National Park for future generations to enjoy.

“I would like to thank everyone at the Authority for their commitment and dedication. Thank you also to the judges for listening to our story and for Archant for facilitating this recognition of our work.”


UEA is ranked in the top 25 universities in the UK and in the top 200 universities in the world. Its research makes an economic and social impact way beyond its campus, with over 80pc of research being assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

UEA has a track record of successful collaboration with large companies, start-ups and SMEs, and can facilitate access to a wide range of funding opportunities for businesses and other organisations.


Developing Experts

Developing Experts has fundamentally pivoted to establish a new business model that is truly unique within its field. The judges were deeply impressed by the ability of Developing Experts to create consensus across entire sectors, including the rail industry, nuclear power and life sciences.


NAAME is a free knowledge exchange network run by the manufacturing and engineering sector. The judges commended NAAME for establishing sub-regional groups to ensure the Board is representative of the whole region, and is able to facilitate both local and regional knowledge exchange to share best practice and identify challenges.


The judges were extremely impressed with how far WATR has come as a business in only two and a half years. The business is extremely fleet-footed and has successfully brought agile sprint techniques into a complex, highly-regulated sector, based on the team’s knowledge and experience.

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