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Dr Siobhán Jordan

By Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface

The waiting is finally over and the shortlist for the inaugural Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards has been announced. We are absolutely delighted with the number and calibre of entries to this celebration of all knowledge exchange partnerships in Scotland. The judges sifted through over 60 entries to determine the shortlist making for a very exciting competition.

The entries reflect the breadth and range of collaborations between businesses and organisations of all sizes with our leading Scottish academics and research teams. These partnerships demonstrate the variety of ways in which businesses and academia are working together to develop products, test ideas and deliver new processes and services which can really make a difference to people’s lives and society. The awards clearly demonstrate how knowledge exchange can enhance company growth and enable Scotland to be a world-leading entrepreneurial and enterprising nation.

For example the inspiration to found Trtl, shortlisted for their partnership with University of Dundee, came when Sir Tom Farmer gave a speech to a class at university. The entrepreneurial team knew they wanted to create something and that something, was born in Trtl a novel travel pillow. Our new category of Building Skills Award recognises how we can support and encourage students and early stage career researchers to be intra-preneurs when they work within someone else’s business. Many of the shortlisted entries including Bright Red Publishing, Ivan Wood & Sons Ltd and Brathadair Ltd highlight how academic staff are entrepreneurial in the application of their research. And the impacts are not only economic, the collaboration between Solar Bear and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has supported a more inclusive society through enhanced access for deaf students.

The scope of academic – business collaborations can be very broad but a common denominator is people making connections for lasting impacts. Scotland is doing!

You can find out about all the shortlisted companies here: http://interface-online.org.uk/events/scottish-knowledge-exchange-awards

04 February 2016