Edinburgh seaweed innovator honoured

Published: 10 Dec 2014 09:30

Special Report: Business & Education

EDINBURGH-based MARA Seaweed has landed one of four Interface Excellence Awards.

From left, Alistair Trail, business engagement executive at Interface Food & Drink; Mary Lawton, policy and industry liaison manager, Scottish Food & Drink Federation; John Swinney MSP, and Cat Hay, project manager at Zero Waste Scotland.

From left, Alistair Trail, business engagement executive at Interface Food & Drink; Mary Lawton, policy and industry liaison manager, Scottish Food & Drink Federation; John Swinney MSP, and Cat Hay, project manager at Zero Waste Scotland.

The company, which has developed commercially viable tank-based seaweed cultivation in partnership with the Scottish Association for Marine Science at the University of the Highlands and Islands, scooped the Sustainable Partnership Award at the 2014 honours last month.

It was commended by the judges on its partnership relationships and on their combined efforts to secure increasing amounts of funding.

The other winners were Perthshire-based Loadfast Systems, Dr Nigel Kerby of Mylnefield Research Services in Invergowrie, and The Food & Drink Advisory Group on Resource Efficiency, which landed the Innovation of the Year, Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Exchange, and The Multi-Party Collaboration awards respectively.

Finance Secretary John Swinney, who presented the awards, said:

“Innovation plays a vital role in driving productivity and sustainable economic growth.Interface is a key partner in supporting businesses accessing knowledge from our fantastic research base.

“The Interface Excellence Awards highlight the outstanding contributions and successes of business and academic collaborations throughout Scotland. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for their ingenuity, industry and creativity.”

Dr Siobhán Jordan, director of Interface, added: “The Interface Excellence Awards celebrate the success of collaborations between SMEs and Scottish academia and recognise the efforts to grow their organisations and drive innovation across the marketplace. Through individual projects and their continued contribution towards Knowledge Exchange the companies and their academic partners are making a real difference to the Scottish economy.”

The Interface Excellence Awards acknowledge the significant contribution that knowledge exchange makes to Scotland’s economy. Academic partnerships facilitated by Interface currently contribute a substantial £17.1 million boost to Scotland’s GVA (Gross Value Added) each year, and that figure is set to increase to £80 million by 2018, according to the growth projections of businesses which have worked with Interface. The awards recognise and celebrate the economic, social and innovative impacts arising from these partnerships.

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