Dr Sue Gordon

Businesses and Academia seek recognition through Interface Excellence Awards

Midlothian-based Advanced Microwave Technologies (AMT) Ltd, the winner of two categories at last year’s inaugural Interface Excellence Awards, has seen business boom in the 10 months since its success at the Awards.

AMT Ltd was introduced to Queen Margaret University by Interface – The knowledge connection for business in 2009 to develop new ways of extending the shelf-life of food products using microwave technology. The successful collaboration, recognised as Sustained Partnership and Innovation of the Year in 2012, has led to significant new business deals and the creation of two new jobs for further technology trialling within the company.

Following last year’s success, Interface - The knowledge connection for business has announced its second annual series of awards to recognise excellence in partnerships between businesses and academia.

The Interface Excellence Awards - open for entry on 5 August - will again acknowledge the significant contribution that knowledge exchange is making to Scotland’s economy.

Dr Sue Gordon, Sales, Marketing and Trials Manager at AMT Ltd said: “The Interface Excellence Awards are a great way of bolstering business. Without Interface’s support, our company would not be in the position it is in today - winning two Excellence Awards last year was a massive boost for the company and has opened doors for business growth and lucrative new networking opportunities. As a direct result of the award, one of the UK’s biggest food and drink companies approached us for help extending the shelf-life of a juice product.

“Last year was a very successful year for AMT and, because of the number of enquiries that we received, we took on two new members of staff this summer. Taking a new technology to market is challenging on so many levels and to have public recognition of our achievements has been invaluable.”

The three categories of the 2013 Interface Excellence Awards are open for entry, with a deadline of Wednesday 2 October 2013:

Innovation of the year award

Businesses are invited to nominate an innovative product, process or service that has been developed over the past three years.  Applications should demonstrate how the academic partnership has been fundamental in supporting the innovation.

Sustained partnership award

Interface is inviting joint applications for an academic - business collaboration that has demonstrated a long term partnering and benefits to both the business and the academic teams through knowledge exchange

Outstanding contribution to knowledge exchange award

This award is to recognise an individual in academia, business or business support organisation who has made an outstanding contribution and played a pivotal role in the promotion of knowledge exchange within Scotland. Applications should demonstrate how the nominated individual has 'gone the extra mile' to catalyse real outcomes.

Dr Siobhán Jordan, director of Interface, said: “The Interface Excellence Awards are an opportunity for businesses and academia to showcase the success of their collaboration. Not only do these collaborative partnerships boost the nation’s GVA, they also create and safeguard jobs while enhancing Scotland’s reputation on the global stage by developing export opportunities.

“Scotland is setting the benchmark for knowledge transfer and AMT’s success since the Awards is testament to the value of academic collaboration. Our academic and research institutions are among the best in the world and, when matched with businesses, the impact these partnerships have on our reputation and prosperity is substantial. These awards celebrate knowledge exchange in Scotland, and we’re confident that the entries will be of the highest calibre.”

Entry forms are available to download from www.interface-online.org.uk/Awards2013.

A judging panel comprising experts from Scottish business and academia will judge all entries and a shortlist will be announced in November.

The Interface Excellence Awards presentation will take place in Edinburgh on Thursday 21 November 2013.