Showcasing collaborations between businesses and Scottish academia, the third annual Excellence Awards, at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, will highlight the economic, social and innovative impacts arising from collaborative projects undertaken by businesses and Scottish universities and research institutions.
The finalists for four awards:
Innovation of the Year
Bright Red Publishing of Edinburgh + Edinburgh Napier University - Created a Digital Zone offering online learning resources for students approaching their National 5 and Curriculum for Excellence Higher qualifications.
iQ Chocolate of Stirling + Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and Queen Margaret University - Established antioxidant values of their chocolate products and identified optimum processing temperature to maximise these properties, leading to the creation of Scotland’s first ‘bean to bar’ chocolate bar.
Loadfast Systems of Amulree + Glasgow Caledonian University - Developed a cascade chute system for the vertical transportation of materials.
Sustainable Partnership Award
MARA Seaweed of Edinburgh + Scottish Association for Marine Science, University of the Highlands and Islands - Developed commercially viable tank-based seaweed cultivation systems.
React2 of Peebles + Queen Margaret University – Created interactive products to help people experiencing problems with speech and language as the result of a stroke, brain injury, learning difficulties or dementia.
Xanthella of Oban + University of Strathclyde – Produced photobioreactors for growing algae for use in biofuel production,
Multi-Party Collaboration Award
Eighty four companies and 23 academic institutions participating in a range of consortia from energy efficiency to rape seed oil are involved in the four shortlisted finalists for this award.
Industry Advisory Group on Resource Efficiency – Comprises Zero Waste Scotland, The Scottish Food and Drink Federation and Interface Food and Drink, and is working with food and drink companies on the challenges around resource efficiency and minimising waste.
Scottish Craft Distillers Association – Comprises the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University, Interface Food and Drink, The Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society, Scottish Enterprise (Market Driven Supply Chains), the Scottish Government (Think Local) and Perth and Kinross Council, and is working with craft distillers to encourage the growth of this sector.
Sea Buckthorn Common Interest Group - Made up of confectionary companies, drinks producers, tea shops and academia examining the nutritional properties of sea buckthorn and enabling the development of new commercial products containing sea buckthorn.
Scottish Rapeseed Group – Comprises eight rapeseed growers/producers working together to promote Scottish cold-pressed rapeseed oil to consumers and buyers and to substantiate the benefits of Scottish rapeseed oil versus other oils.
Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange
Gary Ennis - Managing Director of NSDesign Limited of Glasgow. A pioneer in the delivery of social media training to Scottish SMEs via free workshops. Works with Chambers of Commerce and local authorities in the West of Scotland.
Dr Nigel Kerby - Managing Director of Mylnefield Research Services (MRS) Ltd of Invergowrie. Specialises in crop science, analytical chemistry, environmental science and soil science and is a regular speaker on these topics at conferences, trade shows and symposia in Scotland, the rest of the UK and internationally.
Dr Kevin Parker - Founder of KKI Associates of Edinburgh. Has over twenty years of working with technology based business start-ups and SMEs, especially spins-outs from Scottish universities. He consults, trains, and mentors in the areas of innovation, enterprise, knowledge transfer, business development and energy.
Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, said: "The entries we received for this year’s awards have been of an extremely high calibre and every finalist should be proud of getting this far. Not only that, but the numbers of entries submitted increased by 20% on last year, which only goes to highlight the interest from the business and academic communities in the awards.
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