Scottish Enterprise Launches Collaboration Prize 2016/17

19th October 2016

The Collaboration Prize 2016/17 is now open for businesses in Scotland with aspirations to collaborate.

The aim of the Collaboration Prize is to encourage firms to think collaboratively and pitch an idea for a new collaborative enterprise that will help them to access new markets. This could be a new sector or a geographical market including international markets.

To be eligible the business or consortium must be 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.

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. 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.

The Prize will be open for entries until 18 November 2016. Up to five 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), and export advisor support where appropriate. The international winners will be announced at a ceremony in March 2017.

Sarah Deas, director, Scottish Enterprise, commented on the Prize: “The Collaboration Prize provides the opportunity to raise awareness of the business benefits of collaboration. Working with others can help a business grow, and reduce the costs and risks of tackling new markets or investing in new processes.

“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.

“This year the Collaboration Prize focuses on accessing new markets, with a particular focus on international markets. It aims to help small businesses achieve scale and realise international ambitions.”

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse said: “Scotland is a CAN DO nation and there is no doubt that innovation and collaboration are key to adapting to changing market circumstances and customer needs, be they local, national, regional or global. The Collaboration Prize will help to bring together the best with the best, forging strong links that are vital for creating and sustaining economic growth.”

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 on winning the Prize: “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.

“Collaborating is now at the core of our business. It has allowed us to bring in specialist skills, and together craft something truly unique and far beyond what we could produce on our own. Our advice to anyone considering entering the Prize is to go for it. It’s a fantastic opportunity and it has really helped us to grow and succeed.”

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.

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