Interface has some fantastic stories to tell about the value of knowledge sharing – Laura Goodfellow

Laura Goodfellow, Acting Director, Interface

For among the many entries for this year’s awards are stories of people championing the knowledge sharing that takes place between business and academia, sometimes without much fanfare.

And yet these projects are helping to solve some of our biggest challenges – how to reduce environmental impact, the recovery from Covid-19 and the inclusive growth of the Scottish economy.

Register to our newsletter Opinion

Register to our newsletter Opinion

Twenty-four projects and people have reached the final of the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2022 – and each tells an impressive story.

From developments in satellite communications and telecommunications, to a portable dishwasher that not only cleans dishes but sanitizes everyday items such as cell phones and face masks using UV light, the finalists are pushing back the limits and make breakthroughs that improve lives in a number of industries – healthcare, energy, food and beverage, tourism and construction. It shows that innovation is possible in every industry and business, and that there is an academic to help with fresh thinking and expertise.

And that expertise can take many forms, from individual academics and small teams to an international team of 42 researchers.

It’s inspiring to hear about 3D printing of swabs in PCR testing, or mental health support services for frontline healthcare workers, and antiviral drug development in the Covid response. -19, and the partnership behind an initiative to provide school meals to ensure they are properly nourished at the start of the school day.

The finalists also include personalities, ranging from a world-renowned diabetes and cardiovascular disease scientist who advocates for women scientists, and who is an international speaker and winner of public engagement awards, to our innovators in the future that change business models in traditional manufacturing or make key developments in high-tech telecommunications production.

There are too many to mention here, but a full list is on our website.

Even if you’re not eagerly waiting to find out which projects and people win one of the most coveted awards, we have a great list of speakers at this year’s awards ceremony, which is free and online. .

We are delighted to welcome Will Whitehorn, Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, who has an excellent knowledge of academia and business. As chairman of Virgin Galactic and a key spokesperson for Richard Branson for many years, will bring some stories of his own business successes to the awards. From watching planes at Edinburgh Airport in his youth to advising the UK government on space exploration, his career path is certainly stellar.

We are delighted that Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, is delivering a message of support to the finalists and winners, stressing the importance of business and academics working together to succeed.

Sharing their joint venture stories, some past winners, who we’ll catch up on to find out how their collaborations are going and how winning an award has helped them, the company and the industry they work in.

At this point, I would like to acknowledge the contribution of our juries and for their considerable time and feedback on the entries. We appreciate their efforts as these awards could not take place without them.

I am delighted that the appetite of companies that join academic partnerships shows no sign of losing steam; On the contrary, the past two years have brought more ideas to life and led to an increase in the number of companies and organizations supported by Interface.

The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2022 will take place on Thursday 17 March, from 3-4.30pm. Join us by registering here.

Laura Goodfellow, Acting Director, Interface