Scottish Enterprise launches collaboration prize

The Scottish Enterprise Collaboration Prize 2016/17 is now open for entries, with manufacturing businesses urged to consider collaborating to achieve growth and access new markets

The Scottish Enterprise Collaboration Prize aims to encourage firms to think collaboratively and pitch an idea for a new enterprise that will help them to access new sectors or geographical markets.

To be eligible the business or consortium must b<span “>e based in Scotland, have an innovative idea to implement by setting up a consortium co-operative. and have identified other potential members for the consortium.

Open for entries until November 18 (2016), up to five prize winners will be selected by a judging panel to receive:

  • £5,000 (to implement their collaborative idea)
  • support to set up as a consortium co-operative
  • up to £5,000 business support (delivered by Scottish Enterprise or Highlands and Islands Enterprise)
  • export advisor support where appropriate.

The international winners will be announced at a ceremony in March 2017.

Consortium co-operatives are established when businesses come together for a shared purpose; to buy or sell in scale, market more effectively, share facilities or jointly bid for contracts.

By collaborating businesses can reduce costs, share risks and create new platforms for growth. <span “>Members could be businesses, partnerships or individuals, and the co-operative may be for any purpose which supports the members.

Accessing new and international markets will be a specific focus of this year’s competition, and up to two of the five prizes will be awarded to those consortia who demonstrate strong international ambitions to be delivered via the collaboration.

Director of Scottish Enterprise, Sarah Deas explained: “The Collaboration Prize provides the opportunity to raise awareness of the business benefits of collaboration.

“Simply speaking collaboration can make your company better at what it does. Whether it’s about sharing resources or finding new markets, collaboration can bring efficiency and lead to increased profits.”

ArchBlue Ltd

One of the winners of last year’s Collaboration Prize, ArchBlue Ltd, aims to provide an integrated service that supports site managers with the stewardship of historic buildings, structures, landscapes and archaeological sites.

Founded by four organisations involved in providing complementary services to the heritage sector, the consortium provides a wide range of services including 3D measuring and modelling; archaeological recording and visualisation; conservation planning, and 3D printing.

Combined, these services provide customers with a comprehensive approach to heritage site management as well as engaging methods of communicating a site’s story to the public.

Founding member John McCreadie commented: “The Collaboration Prize gave us the impetus to formalise what has been an informal, ad-hoc working relationship between a number of companies.

“We were convinced that by working together we could better meet our clients’ needs and felt that a formal collaboration, with a clear identity and well defined service offering, would be the best vehicle for moving forward.

“Winning the Collaboration Prize has helped us to establish a brand identity for ArchBlue Ltd and market its services to potential customers. We believe the collaborative approach will add strength to tender submissions and allow us to bid for projects we wouldn’t necessarily have the ability to pursue as individual businesses.”

The Collaboration Prize is delivered by Co-operative Development Scotland on behalf of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Island Enterprise in partnership with Business Gateway and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.