Finalists revealed in 5th Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards

Thursday 9 January 2020

This February marks the fifth year of the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards, which recognise, reward and celebrate the impacts achieved through academic and business partnerships, demonstrating how innovative businesses, universities, research institutes and colleges are leading the way towards economic growth, societal improvements and environmental advances.

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, said: “We are thrilled at the variety and breadth of the collaborative projects and individual knowledge exchange pioneers who have been nominated for awards. The applications demonstrate that business-academic partnerships are thriving and having a positive impact on individuals, communities and industries in tackling social and economic challenges throughout Scotland and beyond.”  

Today (Thursday, 9th January, 2020) Interface is delighted to announce the shortlisted finalists for each category as follows:

Innovation of the Year

Awarded for an innovative product, process or service that has been developed in conjunction with a university, research institute or college partner.

Falcon Foodservice Equipment, Stirling, and Heriot-Watt University, for an innovative fryer comprising two frying tanks with separate filtration systems within a small footprint. The collaborative research and development between the partners informed the design and development of the twin gas fryer, now in production and gaining market advantage over competitors.

HAS Technology Ltd, Greenock, collaborated with Edinburgh Napier University, to develop ARMED (Advanced Risk Modelling for Early Detection), which focuses on key metrics associated with frailty and risk of falling. By combining pioneering predictive analytics modelling and innovative wearable technology with health and social care data, ARMED identifies risks earlier in the care cycle, reducing the number of falls and associated hospital admissions, making significant savings. 

ThermaFY/Shock Innovations Ltd, Kelso, collaborated with Fife College to test and improve its thermal imaging software which, combined with a new online, mobile-first training package, can now be used by heating engineers, surveyors and others. The product uses thermal images to assess properties without the need for invasive methods, helping to inform decisions on allocation of resources, saving money for customers and reducing carbon emissions. 


Making a Difference

This award is given to a collaborative business-academic project that has produced significant social or environmental impacts which ultimately contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future.

Baltic Street Adventure Playground (BSAP), a Glasgow charity and child-led supervised adventure playground, is partnering with the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School to develop a community food hub in Dalmarnock, a neighbourhood that ranks in the top 5% highest rate of deprivation in Scotland. The collaboration, which is supported by Stage 2 Scottish Government/EU Social Innovation Funding, supported and evaluated community food activities.

Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) and the University of Strathclyde Business School have worked collaboratively to develop an accessible and inclusive process of strategy-making based on the views of their stakeholders including children and young people. The outcome has resulted in CHAS being able to significantly increase referrals and the number of families they support.

ENABLE Scotland, University of Strathclyde Business School, Scottish Power and Marriott Hotel, Glasgow, are delivering Breaking Barriers, a pioneering programme, enabling young people with learning disabilities to attend university, achieve an accredited qualification and gain real work experience with two of Scotland’s largest employers.

Knowledge Exchange Champion of the Year

This award recognises an individual in academia, business or a business support organisation who has made an outstanding contribution and played a pivotal role in the promotion of knowledge exchange and of business and academic partnerships within Scotland.

Professor David Flynn, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, has brought global advocacy for Scotland’s universities, highlighting how they serve society and industry in partnership, not only to bring solutions to today’s challenges but strategies to engineer a better future. He passionately supports new technology as an enabler for social mobility and wealth creation.

Professor Naeem Ramzan, School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of the West of Scotland is an international scientist, engineer, and innovator in Artificial Intelligence and Multimedia Processing. He actively supports knowledge exchange projects from grassroots level through to providing strategic insight to industry thought-leaders such as leading the call for culture change within the construction industry.

Professor Marian Wiercigroch, School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen, is an internationally renowned researcher, conference organiser, engineer and inventor of new technology. He has demonstrated exceptional engagement with industry and delivery of knowledge exchange to energy companies, including establishing Aberdeen’s Centre for Applied Dynamics Research.


Innovator of the Future

This Award is given to a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate, further or higher education students or Postgraduate Students who have been hosted or sponsored by a business in conjunction with a Scottish university, research institute or college.

Lilia Potseluyko Amobi - Building on an initial Innovation Voucher-funded project between Caithness-based Norscot Joinery Ltd and the University of Strathclyde to develop a ‘virtual showhome’, to enable clients to ‘walk through’ their design concept prior to build, the follow-on Knowledge Transfer Partnership has further transformed the business offering developing new products, processes and solutions enabling significant cost-savings to be achieved.

Connor Blair from the University of Glasgow is undertaking an Industrial Placement PhD with Portage Glasgow Ltd, a biotechnology start-up company, focusing on the discovery and development of novel cell-penetrating peptide therapeutics. Connor’s research has already led to two patents and he has been promoted to the role of Principal Scientist.

Declan Bryans has led a successful collaborative project with Lanarkshire based Mersen and the University of Strathclyde to push battery electrode materials beyond their current known limits. Through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, the collaboration will better enable the development of highly efficient flow batteries on a global stage and support the move towards sustainable renewable energy use.

Multiparty Collaboration

This award is given to groups and consortia including business and academic partners who are working together on an innovative research project.

The £6m MIRAGE consortium, led by Stirling based Cascade Technologies with partners Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global (CSTG), Gas Sensing Solutions Ltd (GSS), Amethyst Research Ltd and the University of Glasgow was supported by Scottish Enterprise and CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensors and Imaging Systems.

Combining the expertise of the partners and sharing access to III-V semiconductor growth capabilities, manufacturing facilities and knowledge, the project has enhanced Scotland’s electro-optical capabilities and has allowed the companies to develop technologies faster than would have been possible individually. 

The nEUROSTRESSPEP project, led by the University of Glasgow, has championed a revolution in the creation of novel next generation green insecticides.

The €7M multiparty collaboration brings together seven universities across Europe and South Africa, six agricultural technology governmental agencies and three highly innovative companies. The multi-party collaboration will bring eco-friendly alternative pest control a step closer to reality, leading to the creation of a new Scottish, specialist environmentally friendly insecticides company - the first of its kind in the UK. 

Sand Injectite Research Group (SIRG) has established a long-term collaborative project with 12 industry partners in the oil and gas sector, born out of an industry need to enhance interpretation of sand injectites from subsurface data for exploration and oil field development. Alongside University of Aberdeen research expertise, exchange of knowledge and information has led to direct economic impact to industry members.

All the winners including the Spotlight of the Year award chosen by the judges from across all the categories will be announced in Edinburgh at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards Ceremony on 27th February 2020.

*Correct at time of publication*