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The finalists of the seventh Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards have been revealed, showing the strength of partnership between businesses, organisations and academics in Scotland.

The awards are organised by Interface and mark the biggest celebration of knowledge exchange between businesses and academics in Scotland, showcasing the achievements of collaborative partnerships and individuals alike.

The finalists are:

COVID-19 Collaborative Response

Abergower Digital Ltd, Glasgow, and Heriot-Watt University for developing a 3D COVID-19 swab for PCR tests.

LifeArc (CRUSH), Edinburgh, and University of Glasgow for creating a research centre for antiviral drug screening and resistance development.

Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Glasgow Caledonian University for developing Time for You, a free, online mental health and wellbeing support service for frontline workers across Scotland during the pandemic.

Innovation of the Year

Celestia UK, Edinburgh, and Heriot-Watt University for developing eScan, with unique electronic scanning multi-beam antenna to simultaneously communicate data from hundreds of low-orbit satellites to ground stations. By solving bandwidth issues for the satellite communications market, the product offers huge potential for application in many areas e.g. 5G, remote rural broadband infrastructure and aircraft. 

Loch Electronics Ltd, Glasgow, and Robert Gordon University for developing the world’s smallest domestic dishwasher and the first to both wash dishes and disinfect items such as mobile phones and facemasks with a UV light sanitisation, helping minimise the spread of COVID-19. The Capsule Dishwasher™ uses 10 times less water and consumes 4 times less energy, compared to hand washing.

Touch-less Hygiene UK Ltd, Coatbridge, and University of the West of Scotland for embedding microbiology expertise into the company to facilitate the design, development, testing and launch of the next generation of microbial disinfection and decontamination technology.

Innovator of the Future

Dr Daniel Melia Boix, Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate from University of the West of Scotland, who collaborated with Helia Photonics, Livingston, to develop a high-precision robotic system to automate stacking ultrathin semiconductor bars into jigs for use in telecommunications, reducing losses due to product damage and increasing process throughput.

Juliette Farrell, KTP Associate from University of Strathclyde, who collaborated with Elite Contract Furniture, Glasgow, to embed new tools and methodologies into the business including rebranding and developing an e-commerce site for a new product, allowing them to sell online for the first time in 68 years.

Dr Simson McCreath, KTP Associate from University of Strathclyde, who collaborated with Terumo Aortic, Glasgow, to embed expertise and understanding of the properties and chemistry of gelatin, a critical raw material and component of medical devices made by the company. 

Knowledge Exchange Champion

Professor Mirela Delibegovic, University of Aberdeen, is a world-leading scientist in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, evidenced by her top-ranking publications, extensive research portfolio, academic standing and international reputation.  She is a champion of women scientists, an international keynote speaker and winner of public engagement awards.

Professor Murray Pittock, University of Glasgow, has shaped national and local government policy on literary tourism, and improved the way heritage and tourism sectors develop visitor experiences. His work on the economic impact of the poet Robert Burns secured two Scottish Parliament debates and persuaded the Scottish Government to commission his research report on the subject.

Professor Sean Smith, University of Edinburgh, has extensively contributed to knowledge exchange as an ambassador through his service to government, industry leadership groups (construction, forestry), public sector and housing boards, committees and education sector presenting to over 2,000 organisations.

Knowledge Exchange Heroes

The Business Engagement and Innovation Team, Edinburgh Napier University, worked strategically on the commercialisation portfolio and in just a short period of time, they collegiately rejuvenated old projects and inspired new initiatives. Through culture change, drive and leadership, the institutional collective commercialisation success has resulted in the best results over the last decade.

One Ocean Hub Early Career Researchers team of 42 international researchers led by University of Strathclyde, played a central role in influencing international and national action to improve the protection of the human rights of small-scale fishers in ocean-related decision making by working with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Dr Marco Gilardi, University of the West of Scotland, researches software and design tools for interactive graphics and extended realities for training and education with an interest in multimodal interaction, producing 13 publications and a patent application. He led a highly successful project with The Scottish Crannog Centre, designing an innovative immersive gallery that exploits Augmented Reality technologies.

Making an Environmental Difference

Baxters Food Group, Fochabers, and University of the West of Scotland for embedding waste and process management knowledge and expertise, helping reduce their environmental footprint.

Kinnotech, Glenrothes, and Robert Gordon University for developing an energy efficient solar driven water pump.

NHS Highland and the University of the Highlands and Islands, with a cross-sector partnership for improving the quality of hospital wastewater discharged into the sewerage system and the environment.

Making a Social Difference – sponsored by Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS)

Alzheimer Scotland and University of the West of Scotland, for creating and delivering a new and transformative online workforce development course.

East Renfrew Breakfast Cart Project partners and Glasgow Caledonian University for designing new products, establishing new processes and models of provision to support children’s learning by ensuring that they are properly nourished at the start of the school day.

Glasgow Science Centre, Scottish Schools Education Research Centre and University of Edinburgh for improving the quality of science education for young, underserved children through interactive games, a new exhibition design framework and teacher training.

Multiparty Collaboration

The Centre for Excellence in Bioprocessing 2.0 partnership led by FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and the University of Edinburgh, with the University of Manchester, University of York and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre. The collaboration is addressing key challenges in bioprocessing and the manufacture of biologics with a wide-ranging programme of innovative research and training.

The Industrial Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research in Digital Diagnostics (iCAIRD) comprising 15 partners from across industry, NHS & four Scottish Universities. With twin tracks in radiology and pathology, iCAIRD’s programme of work is establishing the infrastructure & environment required to support development, validation & deployment of AI technologies for use in healthcare.

The Nano Safety Research Consortium with Heriot Watt University, academic and industrial partners in Scotland and Europe for addressing important gaps in knowledge about nanotechnology including safety testing, influencing the content of national regulations and promoting the responsible and sustainable development of nanotechnology to ensure that the benefits promised by this new technology can be realised safely.

The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2022 take place on Thursday, 17 March, 3-4.30pm, online. Register here https://www.interface-online.org.uk/events/scottish-knowledge-exchange-awards-2022

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