Celebration of Knowledge Exchange & Public Engagement winners

Several exemplar and exciting knowledge exchange and public engagement projects were recognised during the UofG’s first online celebration event which took place on the main UofG Twitter account @UofGlasgow on Thursday 27 August 2020.

The awards recognise, reward and celebrate the partnerships and achievements through engagement with industry, the public sector and community partners, celebrating the very best of the University’s influence and impact on the economy and society.

The awards spanned five categories to reflect the broad range of excellence in engagement across the University. The winners were:

Best Collaboration in Arts & Culture

Dr Matt Brennan from the School of Culture & Creative Arts for ‘The Cost of Music’, a collaboration between music academics, artisan craftworkers, a filmmaker, a record label, and the environmental sustainability charity Creative Carbon Scotland. The project significantly enhanced public understanding of the changing economic and environmental costs of recorded music through a series of innovative public engagement initiatives. Matt and his collaborators have been recognised for their innovative approach to research communications and engagement with the public.

Best Collaboration in Business

The £6m MIRAGE consortium  whicch brought together four Scottish manufacturers and Professor Iain Thayne and Dr Matt Steer of the James Watt School of Engineering, supported by Scottish Enterprise and CENSIS. MIRAGE aimed to place Scotland at the forefront of the £7 billion global sensors and imaging systems market, to deliver significant economic growth and onshore highly skilled research and manufacturing jobs from Asia. The initiative, the first of its kind in Scotland, has enhanced Scotland’s electro-optical capabilities and allowed the companies to develop new prototypes and products that are enabling entry to new markets and global growth. The consortium has been recognised for its open approach to collaborative working which is essential in the technically demanding phases of process development and device trialling. 

Best Collaboration in Policy & Practice

Professor Katie Hampson and her colleagues at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine are leading research to eradicate rabies in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The research has generated critical evidence that has played a key role in persuading international agencies - the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) - to advocate for the global elimination of rabies deaths by 2030. Katie and her team have been recognised for influencing policy on a global level.

Best Community or Public Engagement Initiative

Baltic Street Adventure Playground in the heart of Dalmarnock, an area of high deprivation, is providing a lifeline for local families, giving children a safe place to play and providing hot, healthy meals – which is invaluable for families living on tight budgets. Professor Deirdre Shaw, Dr Helen Traill, Dr Stephanie Anderson, Professor Andrew Cumbers and Professor Robert McMaster from the University of Glasgow's Adam Smith Business School are working closely with the Playground to evaluate the sustainability of their Community Food Hub. The team have been recognised for working collaboratively to enable the Playground to grow the services they offer the local community and explore options to achieve more ethical and eco-friendly ways of working.

Entrepreneur of the Year – Joint Winners

Professor Shireen Davies

Professor Shireen Davies from the Institute of Molecular, Cell & Systems Biology is championing a revolution in the creation of novel next generation green insecticides. Her vision is to become the world-leading provider of peptide-based bioinsecticides to control economically important insect crop pests towards more sustainable agriculture and food security. In May 2020, Professor Davies, Professor Julian Dow and others formed the University of Glasgow spinout, SOLASTA Bio, a specialist green insecticides company which is amongst the first of its kind globally. Shireen’s determination, passion and entrepreneurial skills have helped lay the foundations of the new company whilst juggling her research career.

Dr Elijah Nazarzadeh

  1. Elijah Nazarzadeh from the James Watt School of Engineering has developed a novel nebuliser platform and led the formation of a spinout company, Nebu-Flow, to disrupt the respiratory drug delivery market. Nebu-Flow aims to provide a new delivery technology for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders (COPD) and cystic fibrosis drugs with an estimated market value of $15.2bn. Elijah has been recognised for his great passion to commercialise the Nebu-Flow technology, displaying strong leadership skills and his desire to ensure patients suffering from respiratory disorders get better treatments.

UofG Principal Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli said: “The Knowledge Exchange & Public Engagement Awards are a celebration of the rich variety of partnerships and engagement our academic community undertakes to deliver wider benefit to society and the economy. Our academics are developing new and creative ways to address global challenges and work with partners to drive innovation, impact and change. We were delighted by the calibre of the nominations for this year’s awards across the University and I would like to congratulate the winners for their outstanding achievements.”

Find out more: UofG Knowledge Exchange & Public Engagement Award 2020 Winners


First published: 28 August 2020