Celebrating a rich stream of innovation

Since last year’s The Engineer Technology and Innovation Awards, we have a new government and a new outlook on the worlds of technology and industry. With public sector cutbacks looming, the onus has been firmly placed on industry to drive the economy towards recovery. And as we all know, growth depends on new products and new products depend on innovative engineering.

For the fourth year of our awards, we have opened up the entrant criteria from projects involving academia and industry to any form of collaboration, between companies of all sizes, universities and other organisations. We’ve also added additional categories, and we were delighted with the quality and the variety of entries. From sectors with a long heritage, such as automotive, to the emerging areas such as medical devices and autonomous systems, we’ve seen a spread of technologies at the very cutting edge of development, many of which could lead to step-changes in their fields and could contribute to leading positions for British industry. We’ve even got an Olympic gold medal winner in one of our new categories, Sports Technology.

What this shows above anything else is that we have, in the UK, a rich resource of inventive, enthusiastic people who are willing to tackle the problems that we face in the modern world, whether it’s protecting ourselves from new forms of security threat, finding ways to reduce the amount of energy needed to build and heat our homes, looking for new ways to handle disease and disability, increae our knowledge of the Earth and its atmosphere, or make our way around our cities while reducing our impact on the environment. The skill, imagination and sheer creativity of our engineers was apparent in all of our entrants, and is particularly notable in the winners and shortlisted entries, featured in this special supplement to The Engineer.

It is, as ever, our pleasure, along with our main sponsor, BAE Systems, and all our category sponsors, to recognise and honour the best examples of collaboration and innovation in the UK. Congratulations to our winners and to all those who entered.