Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards launched

Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards launched

The search is on to reward and celebrate some of Scotland’s most innovative business and academic partnerships at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2017.

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."

The awards will showcase a panel of keynote speakers, innovation sessions and exhibitors.

Keynote speakers on the day include:

  • Susan Fouquier, regional managing director of business banking, The Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Dr Siobhan Jordan, director, Interface
  • Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, chief executive & producer, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
  • Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, minister for business, innovation and energy
  • Martin Ruck, head of research & development, Macphie
  • John Fuller MBA, BSC(Hons), C.Eng, MIMECHE, president and CEO, LoadFast Systems

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."

Susan Fouquier, regional managing director for Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland, added: "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."

BQ will be acting as media partner for the event.

Dave Townsley, account director at BQ, said : "BQ are delighted to be media partner for the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2017.We hope that by recognising some of these innovative business and academic partnerships the awards can help to celebrate and inspire entrepreneurship to help businesses succeed and grow."

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, to enter or to reserve a place please visit