Real Innovation Awards 2020 winners announced

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the awards programme organised by the School’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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In an extraordinary year, entries to the Real Innovation Awards (RIA) featured many organisations and individuals who have demonstrated unbelievable tenacity in the face of enormous obstacles in their mission to make the world a better place.

The process of innovation is not straightforward and can be arduous. It requires grit, tenacity, good timing and, of course, some luck. The annual London Business School awards ceremony celebrates innovation and the individuals who often sacrifice comfortable and lucrative corporate lives and careers to try and offer something of purpose and value to society, whether it benefits their neighbourhood or someone else’s. 

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the awards programme organised by the School’s Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE).  

The RIA awards recognises innovation through six categories.  A new category, Innovation in Adversity, was introduced this year to recognise innovations forged in response to a crisis.

The winners set a high standard, delivering creative products, systems and services across a wide range of industries and applications. From discovering new ways to treat COVID-19 patients and developing a method to convert cow dung into green energy in India to supplying quality medicine to underserved patients in Africa and supporting financial inclusion in Nigeria – everyone who made it onto our shortlist shared a determination to make the world a better place. You can find the full list and the innovation stories of the shortlisted RIA candidates here.  


This year’s People’s Choice winners are:

Innovation in Adversity Award
Winner: Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals for the team who invented the ‘Black Box’ to treat COVID-19 patients.
Runner-up: Batec Mobility for their ‘add-on’ hand-bike mobility solution for wheelchair users.

Alexander Fleming Serendipity Award
Winner: Swiss Vault Systems for their modular hospital data-storage system that enables massive reductions in electricity consumption and physical storage space.
Runner-up: Agromillora Group, a pioneer in the production and marketing of fruit and olive trees with potential to help address global challenges of population growth, climate change and water shortage.

If at First You Don’t Succeed Award
Winner: Field Intelligence, whose pharm-tech platform Shelf Life enables provision of quality medicines and micro-credit to almost half a million patients in Nigeria through community pharmacies.
Runner-up: Arth, an Indian Institute of Technology student team who developed cleaner, more energy-efficient ‘logs’ made from cow dung to help combat India’s huge deforestation and air pollution problems.

Harnessing the Winds of Change Award
Winner: Avataar.Me – leveraging augmented reality technology to convert 2D photos and videos into immersive, 3D ‘product-discovery experiences’ to enable consumers to ‘try’ anything from clothes to cars before buying.
Runner-up: Lemonade Insurance – an app-based insurance startup on a mission to revolutionise the insurance industry through pooled customer premiums and a promise to donate unclaimed money to charity at the end of the year. 

George Bernard Shaw Unreasonable Person Award 
Winner: Abbas Dayekh – founder of Nigerian local delivery company OyaNow for home delivery of food, medicines and other necessities.
Runner-up: Tomilola Adejana, whose digital platform Bankly provides a path to savings and financial services for Nigeria’s 58 million ‘unbanked’ adults and helps to reduce fraud.

Best Beats First Award
Winner: Term Finance Holdings – a Trinidad and Tobago-based virtual credit and loans operation disbursing more than 1,000 loans every month.
Runner-up: Duolingo – an extremely close runner-up, the global online language-learning app features an ad-based freemium model and a test that allows users to take university language entrance exams digitally.


We will be hosting the #RealInnovationAwards 2020 virtually this year. You can pre-register your interest here.