Heriot-Watt sweeps the board with finalists for top awards



Academics and business partners are celebrating after sweeping the board with finalists for this year's Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2019.

From the list of nominees, 40 per cent of the shorlist come from Heriot-Watt University.

The awards, organised by Interface, have six categories and celebrate strong collaborations between academia and businesses. The winners will be announced on Thursday 21 February.

The judging panels were made up of representatives from; Scottish Funding Council, Entrepreneurial Scotland, College Development Network, Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Government, Knowledge Transfer Network and the Interface Strategic Board.

Professor Garry Pender said: “We're delighted to have so many projects shortlisted for these prestigious awards. They celebrate the importance of working in partnership and forging close links with business, two activities that Heriot-Watt University excels at.

“As a university, we take great pride in our relationships with business and we look forward to attending these awards and showcasing our best work.”

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, said: “We are delighted to host these annual awards, which go from strength to strength, and allow us to showcase the most exciting and game changing research and development which is happening in Scotland today.”

Heriot-Watt University is shortlisted for the following:

Making a difference

Scene Connect Ltd, Edinburgh, and Heriot-Watt University for creating a new software-hardware system, called Water-Hand, for farmers in India to control the volumes of water given to crops through irrigation schedules.

Knowledge Exchange Champion of the Year

Professor David Flynn, Heriot-Watt University, has been an example to all academic staff over the last 10 years by his exceptional engagement with industry and delivery of knowledge exchange to a variety of companies. Professor Flynn's research has supported the creation of academic publications, patents, new companies, global laboratories and strategic political and professional roadmaps. The impact of his contributions has led to significant inward and international investment into companies providing transformative capabilities to multinationals and SMEs.

Professor David Lane, Heriot-Watt University, is an international scientist, engineer, innovator and investor in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. In his 35-year career David has established Heriot-Watt's Ocean Systems Laboratory with an international reputation in marine robotics, publishing nearly 300 top-cited publications and co-ordinating major EU/EPSRC/MoD projects. In 2013-2014 David led the development of the UK's Robotics2020 strategy resulting in over £550m investment including founding the £100m Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, a joint venture between Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh universities.

Rising star of the Year

Dr Maizura Mokhtar, KTP Associate from Heriot-Watt University, undertook a project with Scottish Power Energy Networks to analyse the large amount of data available from nationwide smart meters and transform it into meaningful information to inform important network planning and operational decisions. 

Multiparty collaboration

Heriot-Watt University's International Centre for Brewing & Distilling with the Scottish Distillers Association and five distilleries has developed a unique library of over 40 botanicals grown in Scotland for distillers to create new gins and botanical liqueurs and support export activity.

Hybrid Fusion Energy Systems with Heriot-Watt University, the High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute, University of Southampton and three industry partners for a project to create and demonstrate a novel hybrid energy solution for maritime vessels, representing the next generation of performance and asset management in decarbonised transport.

Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets, a consortium led by the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (Heriot-Watt University and University of Edinburgh), four further academic partners and more than 30 industry and agency partners who are jointly developing and testing aerial, terrestrial and marine robotic systems and their remote human operator interfaces.