The Award, first presented in 1969, honours the winning organisation with a gold medal, and each of the individual nominees with a bronze medal. There is, in addition, a cash prize of £50,000. This is normally shared equally between the individual nominees; however, the Academy will in exceptional cases consider alternative proposals for how the cash prize should be allocated. The presentation of the Award recognises the successful development of innovative ideas in UK engineering. It seeks to demonstrate the importance of engineering and the role of engineers and scientists in contributing to national prosperity and international prestige.

Originally founded by the MacRobert Trusts the Award is now presented by the Royal Academy of Engineering, a prize fund having been established with donations from the MacRobert Trusts, the Royal Academy of Engineering and UK industry.

2014 MacRobert Award winner announced:

Cobalt Light Systems 
For the innovation of the Insight100 airport security liquid scanner

The Insight100 system can analyse bottles of up to three litres, in order to determine if they contain anything considered a threat, without having to open them, providing detailed and exceptionally reliable results in just five seconds.

2014 MacRobert Award news release