Revolutionary partnership sweeps the board at innovation awards
A novel collaboration, combining both commercial and academic expertise to explore the application of microwave technologies to the food and drink sector, has just won two major awards for innovation and partnership.
Advanced Microwave Technologies Ltd (AMT), a pioneering microwave technology SME, in partnership with Queen Margaret University researchers in food and drink, swept the boards last night (5th Dec 2012) at the inaugural Interface Excellence Awards 2012 for Knowledge Exchange. The team, which won in two out of three categories, received the awards from Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing. AMT scooped ‘Innovation of the Year’ and together they were awarded ‘Sustained Partnership of the Year.’
Queen Margaret University was the only new university to win an award at the event.
AMT is emerging as one of the world’s most innovative users of microwave expertise in its application to the food and drink sector. The cutting-edge technology, developed by Dr Yuriy Zadyraka and Douglas Armstrong, has led to a revolutionary new food processing method called Microwave Volumetric Heating (MVH). This unique method of heating liquids has the potential to transform food manufacturing on a global basis.
Trials involving commercial food businesses helped QMU and AMT researchers prove that the new technology, a very gentle process of pasteurisation, can extend the shelf life of food and drink without destroying nutrients and antioxidants and without altering taste.
Following trials at Queen Margaret University, the technology is now being adopted by Scottish food companies. For many, this has totally revolutionised their processing and has resulted in significant growth in their production and sales. The subsequent creation of new jobs within some of these growing companies demonstrates the true impact that university/industry collaboration can achieve in terms of innovation led economic recovery.
Douglas Armstrong said: “Receiving this award is fantastic recognition of the drive and vibrancy of the AMT/QMU partnership and is an excellent example of how a novel and creative collaboration can help achieve Scotland’s economic aspirations.
“Microwave Volumetric Heating is currently helping Scottish food and drink companies to transform food processing and expand their businesses. In addition, companies are being provided, for the first time, with the means to use renewable energy (electricity) in their processes. Our innovative technology is now being applied to manufacturing processes across many sectors and we are looking forward to further extending our expertise across a range of industries on an international stage. The recognition associated with these awards is very heartening and helps to spread the news of our developing success.”
Kim Gilchrist, Research Development Manager at Queen Margaret University, explained: “AMT has a dedicated on-campus test laboratory at QMU. Through research and knowledge exchange in food and drink we have committed to a partnership that goes beyond the physical location of space. It is one that is transformative in shaping the innovation landscape of Scotland and the way SMEs and universities can work together to achieve economic growth and job creation.”
Professor Isobel Davidson from Queen Margaret University said: “This is a very exciting collaboration between commercial pioneers and QMU’s research expertise in dietetics, nutritional and biological sciences. In this challenging economic climate, entrepreneurs need all the help they can get to further develop and launch their ideas. This type of partnership ensures that small businesses get additional expert support and university researchers have the opportunity to work at the cutting edge of commercial developments. It’s a win win. News of these awards helps to ensure that more Scottish businesses become aware of knowledge transfer opportunities as well as world-class expertise, knowledge and research facilities which are available within Scotland’s universities.
“Our congratulations go to the AMT team which had the initial idea, vision and fortitude to get their technology to this stage. We look forward to being involved in the future success of a high growth Scottish company which has the potential for global influence.”
She concluded: “This award helps to promote the potential of commercial and university partnerships and confirms Queen Margaret University’s commitment to supporting SME’s within Scotland’s food and drink sector.”
Interface is the organisations which connects businesses with specialist expertise, knowledge and facilities in Scotland’s universities and research institutions. Interface provides a free and impartial service to give businesses the best possible solution for their business.
Advanced Microwave Technologies
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
Queen Margaret specialises in professional education and research that informs the development of policy and practice in health, drama & creative arts, media & social science and business & enterprise. The expert knowledge developed at Queen Margaret touches people's everyday lives.
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