Shortlist announced for the 6th Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards.

All three Innovators of the Future shortlisted in the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards are KTP Associates, reflecting the exceptional role of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme in developing leadership and innovation talent. KTPs are an integral part of Scotland’s ecosystem for innovation support with an average of 100 projects live at any one point in time. This creates a strong platform for developing the innovation skills base in Scotland – here, reflected in the success of KTP Associates in these Awards.

With a record-breaking number of entries, the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards are Scotland’s premiere celebration of knowledge exchange between businesses and academics, showcasing the incredible achievements of collaborative partnerships and individuals alike.

Ivan McKee, Scotland’s Minister for Trade, Innovation and Public Finance, said: “This event highlights the crucial role that innovation can play, especially in these challenging times for business, in building sustainable economic growth and increasing productivity”.

One of eight categories, the Innovator of the Future singled out three remarkable KTP Associates for its shortlist. KTP Associates lead every KTP – a collaborative project between an academic and a business team – to solve a strategic innovation challenge. 

Innovator of the Future finalists are:

Dr Abdo Alnabulsi , KTP Associate, from the University of Aberdeen, who collaborated with Vertebrate Antibodies Ltd, Aberdeen, for his work to identify and characterise novel cancer biomarkers leading to a greater understanding of tumour progression and commercially valuable bio-tools. KTP has provided me with the opportunity and tools to achieve all the project’s objectives by finding innovative solutions.”

Dr Jakub Rycerz, KTP Associate, from the University of the West of Scotland, who collaborated with Phoenix Instinct Ltd, Forres, on the design and manufacturing of a SMART, light-weight carbon fibre wheelchair frame integrating electronic systems. “The KTP initiative has given me the opportunity to transition from academic life into working on innovative projects within a commercial setting. It has provided the support network that allowed me to develop a novel manufacturing process for a cutting-edge product that Phoenix Instinct is bringing to market”.

Dr Fraser Stewart, KTP Associate & Biomedical Engineer, from the University of Strathclyde, who collaborated with Fathom Systems Ltd, Portlethen, on developing and integrating wearable health technology for deep sea divers into hyperbaric lifeboat monitoring systems, and a new ventilator system.This award nomination is fantastic recognition for all the hard work…and it certainly wouldn’t be possible without the knowledge and experience of the entire KTP team. 

I have been able to shape my career through the generous development budget provided through the KTP programme which also undoubtedly contributed to the success of this KTP project”.

KTP Associates

Acting as change agents and as the conduit for knowledge between the university and business teams KTP Associates apply their academic expertise to a real-world challenge. In so doing, these talented researchers can fast track their careers, helping drive innovation and shape futures. More about the role is here, and the latest KTP Associate jobs are here

Each project also enjoys the input of a highly experienced Knowledge Transfer Adviser from KTN, who not only supports every stage of the KTP project’s successful delivery, but also acts as a mentor to the KTP Associates.

Ian Heywood is the KTP Adviser to all three of the Innovator of the Future finalists and commented: It is great to see the achievement of our KTP Associates recognised in this way. They truly are all innovators of the future. Once again this type of recognition confirms the value of the KTP programme and endorses its role as an integral part of the UK and Scotland’s investment in innovation.” 

All the winners will be announced online at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards Ceremony on 21st April 2021. Please register here 

The KTP programme is funded by UKRI through Innovate UK and co funders including Scottish Funding Council.

Funding competitions for KTP are open throughout the year. KTPs enable businesses to access the resources and embed the knowledge held within the UK’s Knowledge Bases (universities, research institutes and catapults). Find out more here.


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