Logo for the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards

The search is on to find game-changing collaborations between businesses and academics following today’s launch of the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2017.

The awards recognise, reward and celebrate the impacts achieved through collaborative business and academic partnerships.

Interface, which matches businesses to world leading Scottish universities and research institutes for research and development, is calling for entries in five categories. They are:

Innovation of the Year: for the development of an innovative product, process or service;

Sustained Partnership: for a collaboration that demonstrates a long term partnership taking an initial project from a transactional to strategic relationship;

Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange: recognising an individual from business or Higher Education who has played a pivotal role in knowledge exchange within Scotland;

Multi-Party Collaboration: for groups of three or more parties working in collaboration on an innovative research project to solve a common challenge;

Building Skills Through Knowledge Exchange: recognising postgraduate students or Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associates who have worked within a business to increase innovation.

Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland, said: 

“Universities are committed to making their knowledge, expertise and facilities have an impact in the world and working with businesses and other organisations on innovation is one of the ways they can do that. Interface has been at the heart of creating many hundreds of innovative connections between business and academia and is a much-valued partner to the higher education sector. The outcomes from previous winners are impressive; new products and processes are created, businesses grow and expand into new markets, additional funding and investment is leveraged and universities learn so much from the process. I look forward to being inspired, once again, by this year’s winners.”

Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, said:

“After the success of last year’s inaugural awards, we are anticipating a high standard of entries from business-academic partnerships this year.

“Five Scottish universities are ranked among the world’s top 200, so there has never been a better time for Scottish businesses to tap into that academic expertise.

“Entries to the awards can also be a good foundation for academics to develop Research Excellence Framework impact case studies, for assessing the research excellence and impact of Higher Education Institutions.”

Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“Innovation is vital to the future of Scotland and collaborations between academics and businesses are an essential part of that. The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards are a fantastic way to recognise and reward these partnerships and achievements.”

Susan Fouquier, Regional Managing Director for Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland, said: 

“We are delighted to once again support the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards. It offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase the great work being carried out here by the country’s academic and business communities. 

“It is a real boost and inspiration to the organisations operating here and brings to light the need for strong relationships between the public and private sectors and the need for creating an eco-system which allows companies to flourish. 

“Thanks to our support of accelerator hubs such as Entrepreneurial Spark and the development of our own nationwide network of Business Growth Enablers, we understand the importance of such frameworks and why support at all levels is crucial for businesses to grow. 

“We look forward to welcoming the applicants to the awards showcase and ceremony in February.”

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday 2 December 2016 and the winners will be announced at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards at RBS Gogarburn Conference Centre, Edinburgh, on Tuesday 21 February, 2017.

For more information on the awards, please visit http://www.interface-online.org.uk/events/scottish-knowledge-exchange-awards-2017

Note to editors:

Interface connects businesses from all sectors to Scotland’s 23 universities and research institutions.  It is a unique service designed to address the growing demand from organisations and businesses which want to engage with academia.

Companies supported by Interface inject an estimated £70 million into the economy annually through their partnerships with academics. 

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Interface is a free and impartial service which aims to stimulate demand for innovation and encourage companies to consider academic support to help solve their business challenges.

Interface helps companies operating across a range of sectors, from food and drink to financial services, offering huge benefits for both businesses and academia.

The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards

Entries for the Innovation of the Year Award must have been supported by Interface, Interface Food & Drink, or have received funding from Interface Food & Drink or the Scottish Funding Council Innovation Voucher Scheme.

For more information please contact:

Suzy Powell, PR and Communications Executive, Interface.

Tel: 0845 0130536
Mob: 07711 273007
Email: suzy.powell@interface-online.org.uk