Two Edinburgh businesses – Bright Red Publishing and Roslin Cellab Ltd – have been shortlisted for the Innovation of the Year Award in the Interface Excellence awards, which recognise the success and achievement resulting from collaborative partnerships between business and academia.
Bright Red Publishing worked with academics at Edinburgh Napier University to develop a Digital Zone for the presentation of innovative educational resources to teachers and students. Ahead of the formal launch of new online materials, the company has experienced an increase in advanced orders and expects that turnover will increase with the addition of a new digital revenue stream. Thanks to the success of the innovation, the team will also be in a position to employ a new marketing executive in 2014 to implement a new digital marketing strategy.
Roslin Cellab Ltd worked with academics at Heriot-Watt University to develop a sensitive printing process for a range of cell types, including human stem cells. The stem cell technology company is now able to transform the stem cells into human liver cells, and is developing the technology to make this applicable to drug discovery testing assays. As a direct result of the published work carried out in this partnership, both Roslin Cellab and Heriot-Watt University have secured a number of funding grants to continue their research and further innovations in stem cell technology.
Two of Edinburgh’s universities - Heriot Watt and Queen Margaret - are also shortlisted for the Sustained Partnership Award, recognising their long-term contributions to knowledge exchange.
Interface – The knowledge connection for business is hosting the second annual awards programme to acknowledge the significant contribution that knowledge exchange is making to Scotland’s economy. The shortlisted entries demonstrate the financial and reputational benefits which result from collaborative knowledge exchange projects.
Academic partnerships facilitated by Interface currently contribute a substantial £17.1 million boost to Scotland’s GVA each year, and that figure is set to increase to £80m within 3-5 years, according to the growth projections of businesses which have worked with Interface. The awards aim to recognise and celebrate the economic, social and innovative impacts arising from these partnerships.
Three categories were open for entry: Interface Innovation of the Year Award, Interface Sustained Partnership Award and Interface Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange Award. The shortlisted entries are:
Interface Innovation of the Year Award
Interface Sustained Partnership Award
The winners, including the individual awarded with the Interface Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange Award – a category which has not been shortlisted - will be announced at an awards ceremony in Edinburgh on Thursday, 21 November 2013.
The sell-out event will include an interactive Q&A session between leading figures from industry and academia, focussing on how Scotland can profit from innovation. Chaired by the editor of Business Insider magazine and member of the judging panel, Alasdair Northrop, the discussion is the first of its kind in Scotland and will give guests a unique opportunity to challenge, explore and understand the true benefits of knowledge exchange.
Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface said:
“These shortlisted entries recognise outstanding examples of knowledge exchange across Scotland. The Interface Excellence Awards will not only celebrate the success of existing Interface partnerships, but also encourage other businesses to tap into the wealth of benefits that partnership with Scotland’s world leading academic and research institutions can bring”.
Alasdair Northrop said:
“The entries received for all categories of these awards were of an extremely high standard. It’s very encouraging to see the benefits that academic partnerships and knowledge exchange can have for business and we look forward to announcing the winners of the Interface Excellence Awards later this month.”
Interface assesses the needs of a company and matches it with potential collaborators to problem-solve or develop new products, processes or services. The team, based across Scotland, identifies relevant academic partners, matching their knowledge and expertise to support the company in moving the business idea forward.
Since its launch in 2005, Interface has facilitated hundreds of business and academic partnerships, allowing businesses to access the world-class technology, skills and research available within Scotland’s universities and research institutes.