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UK’s premier engineering prize seeks ‘next big thing’

12 November 2015

Entries are now invited for the 2016 Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award, the UK’s premier prize for engineering innovation.

Engineering businesses working on new technology that has had proven commercial success and created tangible social benefit are encouraged to enter for the prestigious award, which offers a £50,000 cash prize, gold medal and national acclaim. Entry is open to businesses of all sizes, working in any engineering discipline.

The first MacRobert Award was presented in 1969 to engineering giant Rolls-Royce in recognition of the Pegasus engine, used in the iconic Harrier jets. Ever since then, the award has celebrated pioneering technologies in areas as diverse as medical technology and smart transport. The award has successfully predicted ‘the next big thing’ in engineering for the last four decades.

In 1972 it was awarded to the first CT scanner – a technology now ubiquitous in modern medicine – seven years before its inventor Sir Godfrey Hounsfield received the Nobel Prize. More recently, it was awarded to Touch Bionics for the i-limb bionic hand, a technology that is now having a dramatic impact on the quality of patients’ lives.

This year’s winner, Edinburgh-based Artemis Intelligent Power, was recognised for its Digital Displacement power system with digitally controlled hydraulics, which has the potential to transform the viability of offshore wind power and low carbon transportation. Artemis’ system offers dramatically improved power quality and capacity when compared to existing transmission systems, an advantage that has enabled the installation of the world’s largest floating offshore wind turbine off the coast of Japan.

“The MacRobert Award is designed to identify technology advancements that can make a tangible difference to our lives, from step change innovations in established large companies to successful start-ups in new and emerging technology areas," says Dr Dame Sue Ion DBE FREng, Chair of Judges for the MacRobert Award. "I’m looking forward to meeting some of the UK’s top innovators this year alongside a judging panel made up of some of the UK’s most successful engineers.”

The MacRobert Award is linked with the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub and supported by the Worshipful Company of Engineers.

Entries for the 2016 MacRobert Award are currently open (details here). The deadline for applications is 31 January 2016.

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