The most innovative, inspirational and impactful collaborations between business and academics are being invited to enter the 4th Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards, launched today.
Interface, which matches businesses to world leading Scottish universities, research institutes and colleges for research and development, is calling for entries in seven categories - the largest number to date.
And to encourage more businesses to consider partnering with Scotland’s world-leading academics, Interface is taking the Awards “on the road”, visiting different regions around Scotland in the coming months. Roadshow events will take place in Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling and will feature companies which have benefitted from tapping into academic expertise and academics who support industry in meeting their goals through research and development.
Previous winners of Innovation of the Year and Building Skills through Knowledge Exchange Awards in 2017, Ivan Wood & Sons, with Abertay University, have gone from strength to strength with their starch filtration system PeelTech which is now being sold across the UK and gaining international interest. They have also been recognised by other industry bodies having won several other awards along the way for innovation and sustainability.
John Kemp, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “This event plays a huge part in celebrating Scottish innovation and bringing people together to share ideas. It’s always fresh and always relevant, as this year’s changes to the format show. I’m very much looking forward to the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2019.”
Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, said: “We are really excited about the new format for this year’s awards, which we hope will encourage even more businesses and academics to become involved and showcase the many benefits of collaborating.
“As we have team members located across Scotland working every day with business and academia, we wanted to host regional events to extend the reach of our annual celebration of knowledge exchange between industry and academia.
“This year, for the first time, the judges will choose a Spotlight Award for the partnership which has come together from a different business sector and academic discipline to provide an innovative solution to a challenge.”
The categories are:
• Champion of the Year
o Recognising an individual in academia (university, college, research institute), business or support organisation who has made an outstanding contribution to Knowledge Exchange.
• Innovation of the Year Award
o Awarded to an innovative product, process or service that has been developed over the past five years.
• Making a Difference Award
o Celebrating collaborative projects which have achieved significant social or environmental impacts that ultimately contribute towards a better, fairer and more sustainable future.
• Multiparty Collaboration Award
o Open to groups of three or more parties working together on an innovative research project; the group must include research partners from academia and at least one business. Applications should demonstrate innovation and impact as a result of working together to solve a common challenge while also having a significant benefit for each party involved.
• Powerful Partnership Award
o For a partnership that has demonstrated long term benefits to both the business and the academic teams.
• Rising Star of the Year
o Open to KTP Associates, Further Education and Higher Education students or Postgraduate Students who have been hosted or sponsored by a business based in Scotland for a minimum of three months for a specific project that has increased the skills of the individual student or associate as well as increased innovation within the company.
• Spotlight Award
o To recognise different business sectors and academic disciplines that have come together to provide an innovative solution to a challenge.
The winners will be chosen by a specially selected panel of judges who will be looking for innovative, impactful and transformative collaborations and the people contributing to knowledge exchange. Either academics or businesses can submit an application by the deadline of 5pm on Friday, 30 November.
All shortlisted applicants will be invited to the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards at The Studio, Edinburgh, on Thursday, 21 February, 2019.
The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2019 are sponsored by Marks & Clerk and Scottish Business Insider