UofG and partners win at Knowledge Exchange Awards for COVID-19 response

Published: 22 April 2021

The University of Glasgow-hosted Lighthouse Lab COVID-19 testing facility has won an award at Scotland’s premier awards celebrating business-academic knowledge exchange.

The University of Glasgow-hosted Lighthouse Lab COVID-19 testing facility has won an award at Scotland’s premier awards celebrating business-academic knowledge exchange.

The 6th annual Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards, which took place on April 21, saw UofG and partners win for best COVID-19 Collaborative Response.  


The Lighthouse Laboratory in Glasgow, hosted by University of Glasgow at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus, is a major COVID-19 testing facility established with BioAscent Ltd and the University of Dundee, and subsequently developed and managed by the University of Glasgow in collaboration with high-throughput industry experts BioClavis Ltd.

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

Dr Carol Clugston, Dean of Corporate Engagement & Innovation and COO of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, said: “Winning at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards is fantastic recognition or all our partners, who have worked together seamlessly over the past year with a shared vision to support our NHS.

“I’m delighted for our partners, and proud of the many people who have supported the Lighthouse’s journey, and who have worked incredibly long hours to make this a reality.

“Many people have made this possible – around 700 people – from lab scientists and sample handlers, to staff in many departments across the University. Thank you to everyone.”

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface, who organise the annual awards, 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.”

The University had four finalists at the Awards. 

Professor Fiona Macpherson and Dr Neil McDonnell from the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience were finalists in the ‘Powerful Partnerships’ category. Working in collaboration with leading Scottish immersive technology company Sublime, they have created ‘Edify’, a virtual reality learning platform that allows students to access the benefits of virtual reality teaching from their own homes. The project catalysed a new company and has already created 21 new jobs.

CENSIS, the Scottish Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, which is hosted by UofG, was shortlisted in the Powerful Partnerships category. Working in collaboration with Thales UK, the University of West of Scotland and Police Scotland, the project has developed ground-breaking AI technology, which could save lives by identifying missing and vulnerable people.

The Scotland 5G Centre was a finalist in the ‘Multiparty Collaboration’ category. The Centre’s founding partners – University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, and Scottish Futures Trust – have brought together industry, the research community and Scottish Government to accelerate the deployment and adoption of 5G in Scotland.

First published: 22 April 2021