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RGU, Aberdeen University, NHS Grampian, NHS Highland and HIE among the winners in Knowledge Exchange Awards

Robert Gordon University has been involved in the Covid research.
Robert Gordon University

A partnership between Robert Gordon University (RGU) and a company specialising in chlorine dioxide has scooped one of the top gongs in the sixth Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards (SKEAs).

The Aberdeen-based university teamed up with Scotmas Group to develop a new and innovative method of producing disinfectants without harmful by-products for use in hospitals, water supplies and food production applications.

Scotmas, of Kelso, in the Scottish Borders, makes a range of chlorine dioxide products with water treatment and offshore oil applications.

Its partnership with RGU won the innovation of the year title in this year’s SKEAs.

West of Scotland University knowledge transfer partnerships associate Jakub Rycerz was named innovator of the future for his collaboration with Forres company Phoenix Instinct.

‘Smart’ wheelchairs

Mr Rycerz and Phoenix worked together on the design and manufacture of a “smart” lightweight, carbon fibre wheelchair integrating electronic systems that is being tipped to “revolutionise mobility”.

The Scottish Capsule Programme (Scotcap) triumphed in the multi-party collaboration category.

Scotcap’s partners include the Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, NHS Highland, NHS Grampian, NHS Western Isles, Aberdeen University and Bowel Cancer Scotland, among others.

They joined forces to co-design, deliver and evaluate the use of a minimally invasive “pill cam” containing a digital camera as a viable, safe, and cost-effective alternative to colonoscopy for early diagnostic testing for bowel cancer symptoms.

‘Humbled and impressed’

Business-academic matching service Interface has timed its announcement of these and other award winners in categories that attracted a record number of entries to coincide with World Creativity and Innovation Day.

Siobhan Jordan, director, 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.”

Other winners

Scottish Leather Group, based in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, and Edinburgh Napier University won the “making a difference” award for the development of new, high-value products and processes from waste and offcuts, which competition judges said had significantly impacted on manufacturers, as well as contributing to education, and sustainable art.

The Covid-19 collaborative response award went to The Lighthouse Laboratory in Glasgow, hosted by Glasgow University at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus, a major new COVID-19 testing facility established with drug discovery services firm BioAscent and Dundee University, and subsequently developed and managed by the university in collaboration with research and development company BioClavis.

10 million Covid test milestone

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

The “powerful partnership” award winners were global poultry genetics business Cobb Vantress and Edinburgh University, who have worked together since 2013 across animal welfare, disease resistance, food security and preserving biodiversity to ensure a sustainable global poultry industry.

The judges were looking for collaborations that showed innovation, impact (societal or economic) and transformation, along with recognising the people contributing to knowledge exchange.

Interface matches business to Scotland’s world-leading academics to develop and research new products, services and processes.