Press release

Innovation and Knowledge Exchange awards for Dundee academics

Published on 15 March 2024

The University of Dundee’s outstanding success in innovation in the Health and Life Sciences sector received further recognition with wins at two major national awards ceremonies

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Professor Sir Mike Ferguson was named Scotland’s Knowledge Exchange Champion of the year at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards in Glasgow.

The award cited Professor Ferguson’s transformational impact on life sciences in Scotland over at least two decades, including forming the University of Dundee’s unique translational Drug Discovery Unit, supporting at least eight successful spin-out companies and championing the ongoing creation of a Life Sciences Innovation District in Dundee. 

Professor Ferguson’s work at all times has sought to transform world-leading science into new drugs and therapies, delivering patient benefits globally. 

That award was swiftly followed by another success for Dundee at Scotland’s Life Sciences Awards, also taking place in Glasgow yesterday, where Dr Luigi Manfredi of Dundee’s School of Medicine won the award for “Innovation – Health Technology” for his work with the Softech Robotics project.

Softech allows a new approach to the critically important procedure of colonoscopy which is used to inspect the colon internally for signs of bowel cancer and other serious health conditions. 

Across Europe and the USA around 33 million colonoscopy procedures are done annually, each of these still requires highly skilled staff to perform and are still done using 1960s technology. Softech has the potential to massively improve the patient experience at the same time as lightening the load on health services and their staff. 

Dr David McBeth, the University’s Vice-Principal (Enterprise and Economic Transformation), said, “These awards for leading Dundee researchers reflect the University’s ongoing success in translating internationally-leading, high quality research into transformational impacts. 

“These impacts encompass better diagnosis and treatment of disease for the benefit of patients and health services worldwide, and positive economic impacts both for the city of Dundee and for the companies we partner with in our research.  

“The University is committed to the development of a Life Sciences Innovation District in Dundee, and to partnering with the City Council as well as the other universities and research institutes in our region to achieve this. Tay Cities Deal investments are right now catalysing our (and our partners’) ability to deliver on this vision for a vibrant industry cluster here - in line with Scotland’s National Innovation Strategy which aspires to create a Health & Life Sciences cluster across Scotland.”

“At the personal level, Mike and Luigi have both more than earned the recognition they received yesterday, and it’s important to note that the University also had staff, projects and spin-out companies shortlisted in other categories across the two awards ceremonies yesterday. This illustrates the quality and strength of our offerings across Knowledge Exchange more broadly.”

Notes to editors

Feature image shows Dr Luigi Manfredi receiving his award. 


Roddy Isles

Head of Corporate Communication

+44 (0)1382 384910