Dr Siobhan Jordan with trophies

The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards, now it its seventh year, launched today (28 October, 2021) to find and celebrate the exceptional work achieved through academic and business partnerships.

Hosted by Interface, the business-academic matchmaker in Scotland, the awards ceremony will be held on Thursday 17 March, 2022.

Applications are being invited in eight categories – from businesses, social enterprises, public sector organisations, third sector, universities, research institutes, innovation centres and colleges that, through knowledge exchange, are leading the way towards economic growth, societal improvements and environmental advances in Scotland and beyond.

Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation, Scottish Funding Council, said of last year’s event: “I was struck by the sheer variety of projects and collaborations celebrated through the awards. We clearly have a vibrant entrepreneurial community in Scotland and a lot of young companies building jobs and value for our communities.”

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, said: “We are excited to be hosting a top-class event – the only one of its kind in Scotland – to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of academics and organisations partnering through knowledge exchange.

“I would encourage every organisation – be they small or large – and academic institution that has enabled knowledge exchange to consider entering the awards – showcasing the many outcomes and impacts happening locally, regionally and globally.”

The categories are:

Innovation of the Year: This award is given for an innovative product, process or service that has been developed by a business, public sector organisation or third sector over the past five years in conjunction with a university, research institute or college partner.  

Multiparty Collaboration: Open to groups of three or more parties working together on an innovative research project; the group must include research partners from Scottish academia and at least one business.

Knowledge Exchange Champion: Recognising an individual in academia (university, research institute or college), business, social enterprise or support organisation who has made an outstanding contribution to Knowledge Exchange.

Making a Social Difference: Celebrating collaborative projects which have achieved significant social impacts that contribute towards a better and fairer future; ultimately promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.

Making an Environmental Difference: Celebrating collaborative projects which have achieved significant environmental impacts that ultimately contribute towards a better and more sustainable future; tackling climate change challenges as well as positively contributing to the Scottish Government’s Net Zero Carbon Emission objectives.

Innovator of the Future: Open to Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associates, Further Education and Higher Education students or Postgraduate Students (including those who have undertaken an Innovation Voucher Student Placement) who have been hosted or sponsored for a minimum of three months by a business, social enterprise or other organisation based in Scotland for a specific project.

Knowledge Exchange Heroes: Recognising an individual or team behind the scenes in an academic research & innovation or research enterprise office who has/have played a pivotal role in assisting knowledge exchange projects between organisations and academia.

COVID-19 Collaborative Response: This award is given for an innovative product, process, service or workforce practice that has been developed by a business, public sector organisation or third sector in response to COVID-19 in collaboration with a university, research institute or college partner.  

Applications should demonstrate how the business-academic partnership has been fundamental in enabling the ongoing economic recovery or delivering support for the medical response. 

The winners will be chosen by a specially selected judging panel who will be seeking collaborations which demonstrate innovation, impact (societal or economic) and transformation, along with recognising the people contributing to knowledge exchange.

Either academics or businesses can submit an application by the deadline of Friday, 14 January, 2022.

For further information on the awards or application forms please click here.