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Queen Margaret University shortlisted for national knowledge exchange awards

Posted: 13th November 2014

Sea_Buckthorn_1Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, is one of thirteen companies, consortia and individuals from across Scotland shortlisted as finalists in the Interface Excellence Awards 2014.

Showcasing collaborations between businesses and Scottish academia, the third annual Excellence Awards will highlight the economic, social and innovative impacts arising from collaborative projects undertaken by businesses and Scottish universities and research institutions.

QMU has been shortlisted in three out of four award categories, including Innovation of the Year, Sustainable Partnership Award and Multi-Party Collaboration Award.

The University has been shortlisted in the Innovation of the Year category for its collaborative work with iQ Chocolate of Stirling, Rowett Institute at the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.  The joint project established the antioxidant values of iQ Chocolate’s product range and identified optimum processing temperature to maximise these properties, leading to the creation of Scotland’s first ‘bean to bar’ chocolate bar.

QMU’s second award nomination is in the Sustainable Partnership category for its work with Peebles-based business – React2.  The partnership project has helped create interactive products to help people experiencing problems with speech and language as the result of a stroke, brain injury, learning difficulties or dementia.

The University has also been shortlisted in the Multi-Party Collaboration category for its work as part of the Sea Buckthorn Common Interest Group and the Scottish Rapeseed Group.

The Sea Buckthorn Common Interest Group is made up of confectionary companies, drinks producers, tea shops and academia examining the nutritional properties of sea buckthorn and enabling the development of new commercial products containing sea buckthorn.

The Scottish Rapeseed Group comprises eight rapeseed growers/producers working together to promote Scottish cold-pressed rapeseed oil to consumers and buyers and to substantiate the benefits of Scottish rapeseed oil versus other oils.

Miriam Smith, Business Development Manager at Queen Margaret University, said: “It’s excellent news for QMU to have been shortlisted in three categories at this year’s Interface Excellence Awards.  It goes a long way to reflect the significant progress that our Research and Knowledge Exchange team has made over recent years with businesses across Scotland.

“In this challenging economic climate, commercial organisations, particularly SMEs, need all the help they can get.  Many businesses seem unaware that world class expertise, knowledge and research facilities are available within Scotland’s universities.  Our researchers and business experts are uniquely equipped to help SMEs.  In addition, our business experts have knowledge and access to funding for commercial development. Businesses, both large and small, need to make the most of this valuable resource.”

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director of Interface commented on the 2014 awards:

“The entries we received for this year’s awards have been of an extremely high calibre and every finalist should be proud of getting this far.  Not only that, but the numbers of entries submitted increased by 20 per cent on last year, which only goes to highlight the interest from the business and academic communities in the awards.

“The Interface Excellence Awards celebrate the success of collaborations between SMEs and Scottish academia, and recognises the efforts to grow their organisations and drive innovation across the marketplace.  Through individual projects and their continued contribution towards Knowledge Exchange these finalists have striven to make a real difference to the Scottish economy, which is something to be celebrated.”

The Interface Excellence Awards will take place on Thursday 20th November 2014 at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh.  For more information visit

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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