Bentley Nelstrop Medal for Enterprise and Innovation

NIAB’s annual in-house staff award, initiated by former Trustee Bentley Nelstrop, celebrates exceptional contribution to innovation and enterprise by an individual or a team from within NIAB.

Nominations for the Bentley Nelstop award can be in the areas of scientific research, business processes or a contribution to NIAB’s position in the market place, including new products and services. Other factors are taken into account including any financial benefit to NIAB, a streamlining of systems and procedures and possible savings and public relations and the applicant’s contribution to the good name of NIAB.

The Medal itself was designed by sculptor Janet MacLeod, wife of former NIAB Director John MacLeod, and features a plant cell in the anaphase stage of mitosis.

Previous award winners: 

  • 2024 - Tricia Cullimore for her contribution to NIAB’s ability to remain an integral part of the statutory and recommended trials systems for sugar beet, maize, pulse, herbage and a whole host of minor crops across the 50+ years she has worked at NIAB.
  • 2023 - Dr Elizabeth Stockdale for her role in establishing a major and important new strand to the support that NIAB can provide to farmers and landowners across the country.
  • 2022 - Dr James Cockram for his outstanding contribution to NIAB’s research portfolio and the dissemination of scientific findings, which has helped hugely in shining a spotlight on NIAB’s research and its resources to the wider scientific community
  • 2021 - all NIAB staff for their determination and commitment in supporting the NIAB cause, and each other, during the covid-19 pandemic.
  • 2020 - Hilary Papworth in recognition of her role in refocusing the Ornamental Crop Characterisation Group’s core work of statutory PBR trials into providing independent glasshouse services.
  • 2020 - Simon Kightley - a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to NIAB and the agricultural industry over the past 40 years, in particular as oilseed and pulses specialist.
  • 2019 - the Strawberry Breeding Team in recognition of the Team’s successful operation and development of new strawberry varieties from the strawberry breeding programme at East Malling.
  • 2018 - David Evershed in recognition of his exceptional contribution to NIAB’s biochemistry services and his instrumental role in streamlining business processes and devising and implementing improvements to the services, supporting the good name of NIAB.
  • 2017 - the MAGIC Team in recognition of their work on Multi-founder Advanced Generation InterCross (MAGIC) wheat populations.
  • 2016 - Dr Juno McKee in recognition of her leadership in the development of a web-based platform to integrate and display NIAB data.
  • 2015 - Professor Andy Greenland - a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to NIAB and in particular his involvement in the creation of the Genetics and Breeding Group.
  • 2015 - Dr Jane Thomas in recognition of her success in initiating, developing and securing collaborate research projects.
  • 2014 - the Seed Handling Unit in recognition of their achievements including improving efficiency, improving working conditions and providing better traceability.
  • 2013 - Ron Stobart in recognition of his outstanding contribution in bringing NIAB and TAG together and securing substantial funding for the new organisation.
  • 2012 - the NIAB Innovation Farm Team in recognition of their efforts in driving Innovation Farm forward and making it a nationally recognised brand
  • 2011 - The Transformation Team in recognition of their efforts in driving the transgenic initiative forward
  • 2010 - Mike Day in recognition of his contribution to NIAB and the agriculture and horticulture Industry (a one-off personal award, not judged alongside other entries).
  • 2010 - the Artemisia Team in recognition of work carried out on the wormwood plant, Artemisia annua, which resulted in the significant increase of yields of a leading anti-malaria remedy that could eventually benefit malaria sufferers worldwide
  • 2009 - Susan Arnold in recognition of her work in revolutionising NIAB’s financial systems resulting in major improvements in the accuracy, presentation and delivery of financial information.