Entries welcome from engineering businesses of all sizes and disciplines

Entries are 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.

Dr Niall Caldwell, Managing Director of Artemis Intelligent Power, said “Winning the top award from such a respected organisation has dramatically raised the credibility of Artemis’ technology. Doors have been opening for us at high levels in companies that we've long wanted to work with. Winning the MacRobert Award has also encouraged our parent company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, to invest in Artemis as a strategic asset to develop new business in a wide range of markets.”

Dr Dame Sue Ion DBE FREng, Chair of Judges for the MacRobert Award, said “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. 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. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2016.

Apply for the MacRobert Award

Notes for Editors

  1. About the MacRobert Award. First presented in 1969, the MacRobert Award is widely regarded as the most coveted in the industry – the ‘Oscars of Engineering’. Founded by the MacRobert Trust and supported by the Worshipful Company of Engineers, the award is managed and presented by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

    MacRobert Award - more information

    Previous winners include EMI Ltd, who in 1972 developed the CT Scanner, a vital medical device that can now be found in almost every hospital in the developed world. In 2002 Cambridge Display Technologies won the MacRobert Award for its light emitting polymer displays for televisions and smart phones. In 2014 the award was given to Cobalt Light Systems, which pioneered a technique to determine the chemical composition of materials in containers and behind a range of other barriers including skin, for use in airport scanners and medical diagnostics. Last year’s winner Artemis Intelligent Power has pioneered a new Digital Displacement® power system, with digitally controlled hydraulics, that that has the potential to transform the viability of offshore wind power and low carbon transportation. As well as dramatically improving power capacity, the smart, modular system has been designed to overcome the significant reliability issues associated with existing turbines.
  2. The 2016 MacRobert Award judges are:
    Dr Dame Sue Ion DBE FREng (Chair)
    Consultant; Chair, Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board
    John Baxter FREng FRSE
    Formerly Group Head of Engineering, BP International Ltd
    Nick Cooper FREng
    Director, JN Cooper & Partners Ltd
    Keith Davis
    Chairman, The MacRobert Trust
    Professor David Delpy CBE FREng FRS FMedSci
    Chair, UK National Quantum Technologies Programme Strategic Advisory Board
    David Gow CBE FREng
    Head of SMART Services, NHS Lothian
    Dr Andrew Herbert OBE FREng
    Formerly Chairman, Microsoft Research EMEA
    Professor Gordon Masterton OBE FREng FRSE
    Chair of Future Infrastructure, School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh
    Peter Saraga CBE FREng
    Chairman of the Advisory Board, Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme
    Dr Frances Saunders CB FREng
    President, Institute of Physics; formerly Chief Executive, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  3. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession