Montage showing the winners of the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2021

The major COVID-19 testing facility and a camera in a pill for early diagnosis of bowel cancer symptoms, are just two of the winners in Scotland’s premier awards celebrating business-academic knowledge exchange.

Interface, the business-academic matching service, announced the winners of the 6th annual Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards today (Wednesday, 21 April), on World Creativity and Innovation Day, after a record number of entries to the awards.

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, said:

“The judges were incredibly humbled and impressed by the innovation and creativity, exemplar partnerships and overall impacts of the applications across all eight categories.

“From responses to the COVID-19 crisis, to breakthrough technologies in health, circular economy and poultry genetics, the winners announced today are an impressive showcase of the incredible collaborative work which goes on every day in Scotland, and a celebration of the people behind the partnerships from all industry sectors and across all academic disciplines.

“They bring renewed admiration for knowledge sharing between businesses, social enterprises, public bodies, such as the NHS, universities and colleges across Scotland.”

The winners are:

Making a Difference

Scottish Leather Group (SLG Technology), Bridge of Weir, and Edinburgh Napier University for the development of new, high value products and processes from waste and offcuts, which have significantly impacted on manufacturers, as well as contributing to education, and sustainable art.

Multiparty Collaboration

The Scottish Capsule Programme (SCOTCAP) – Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, NHS National Services Scotland, NHS Highland, NHS Tayside, NHS Grampian, NHS Western Isles, Medtronic plc, Corporate Health International UK Ltd, Bowel Cancer Scotland, University of Aberdeen and University of Strathclyde. The collaboration was tasked to co-design, deliver and evaluate the use of a minimally invasive “Pillcam” containing a digital camera as a viable, safe, and cost-effective alternative to colonoscopy for early diagnostic testing for Bowel cancer symptoms.  

COVID-19 Collaborative Response

The Lighthouse Laboratory in Glasgow, hosted by University of Glasgow at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus, a major new COVID-19 testing facility established with BioAscent Ltd and the University of Dundee, and subsequently developed and managed by the University of Glasgow in collaboration with high-throughput industry experts BioClavis Ltd.

One of the largest academic-run diagnostic facilities in the world, the laboratory has recently reached the 10 million COVID-19 test milestone. 

Powerful Partnership

Cobb Vantress Inc, a global poultry genetics business, and University of Edinburgh have worked together since 2013 across animal welfare, disease resistance, food security and preserving biodiversity to ensure a sustainable global poultry industry. 

Innovator of the Future – sponsored by SCI

Dr Jakub Rycerz, KTP Associate, from the University of the West of Scotland, who collaborated with Phoenix Instinct Ltd, Forres, on the design and manufacturing of a SMART, light-weight carbon fibre wheelchair frame integrating electronic systems that will revolutionise mobility.

Knowledge Exchange Champion – sponsored by SCI

Professor Malcolm Macdonald, University of Strathclyde, is instrumental in the development of Scotland’s space sector. His work as Director of the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications from 2014-2020 supported the creation of 16 new companies, and his media work has promoted Scotland on the global stage. Prof. Macdonald is leading the Space Technology Cluster as part of the Glasgow City Innovation District.

Knowledge Exchange Heroes

Dr Andrea Taylor, Head of Business Development, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, the University of Edinburgh. Andrea is passionate about Knowledge Exchange and a relentless champion of her team. Her drive and ambition have led a proactive industry engagement strategy delivering significant investment and nurturing new company formation.

Innovation of the Year - sponsored by Marks & Clerk

Scotmas Group Ltd, Kelso, and Robert Gordon University for the development of a new and innovative method of producing disinfectants without harmful by-products for use in hospitals, water supplies and food production applications.

The winners were announced online at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards Ceremony on 21st April 2021.