Collaborate to Innovate: Shortlist announced

4 min read

We’re delighted to reveal the shortlist for Collaborate To Innovate (C2I), The Engineer’s prestigious new awards initiative.

The ultimate winners of each category will be announced at a special event in London on 7th September, and the competition will culminate on 17th November with a conference showcasing the winners and exploring key themes around collaboration and innovation.

Category: Energy, Efficiency & Sustainability


University of Strathclyde, Oxford Technologies Ltd, RAL space

Haptic arm system for the remote robotic monitoring of crops.

Atmospheric sampling over Ascension Island using UAVs

University of Bristol with the University of London, University of Birmingham, Royal Holloway University

The development and use of autonomous drones to collect high-altitude atmospheric samples.

Pile fuel storage ponds magnetic lifting system

James Fisher Nuclear with Sellafield Sites Ltd

Buoyancy-bag based magnetic lifting system for clearing radioactive waste at Sellafield’s pile fuel storage pond.

Willenhall energy storage system (WESS)

University of Sheffield with Aston University, University of Southampton, ABB, Toshiba, Sterling Power, Portastor, Western Power Distribution, Converter Technology & OpalRT

Collaborative research facility aimed at developing battery energy storage facilities for the National Grid.

Category: Health & Wellbeing

ADEPT – additive manufacture for design-led efficient patient treatment

Renishaw PLC wiyh PDR, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University, LPW Technology Ltd

Initiative aimed at enabling widespread use of 3D printing to produce bespoke implants.

PRaVDA: imaging with protons for improved cancer treatment

University of Lincoln with Universities of Birmingham, Liverpool, Surrey, Warwick, Cape Town, Karolinska University Hospital – Sweden, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and others.

Imaging and dosimetry system for enhanced delivery of proton therapy cancer treatments.

PIUCT – Phased Insensitive Ultrasound Computed Tomography

NPL with University Hospitals Bristol, North Bristol NHS Trust, Precision Acoustics Ltd & Designworks

Prototype clinical system for a new breast cancer screening technique.


University of Edinburgh with Heriot-Watt University and University of Bath

Sensor technology for monitoring intensive care patients.

Category: Information, Data & Connectivity

Creating a novel infrastructure for Big Data management

National Instruments with Jaguar Land Rover

New data management system for JLR’s powertrain calibration and controls department.

ORCHID: The science of human-agent collectives

University of Southampton with University of Oxford, University of Nottingham, University of Southampton, BASE Systems, Rescue Global, Secure Meters

Project examining how humans and intelligent software can work together more effectively.

STRIVE (Simulation Tools for Rapid Innovation in Vehicle Engineering) with Bentley Motors, Virtual Engineering Centre, Optis Northern Europe, Optis Pristine & Northern Automotive Alliance

Development of virtual tools for automotive design and production.

Ultra-parallel visible light communications (UP-VLC)

University of Strathclyde with University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Oxford, University of St Andrews

Developments in the use of LEDs as the basis for a wireless communications infrastructure

Category: Safety & Security

Assessment of flood defence embankments using geophysics

Strathclyde University, East Ayrshire Council, West Dumbartonshire Council, Environment Agency, Highlands Council, Parsons Brinkerhoff

Project using improved innovative diagnostic techniques to non-invasively assess flood defences and embankments.

Crime, Policing and Citizenship (CPC) – space-time interactions of dynamic networks

Metropolitan Police Service with UCL

Developments in predictive policing technology.

The Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance with BAE, Thales, Babcock, Ministry of Defence

The design & manufacture of two 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever built by the UK.


Hitachi, WS Atkins

Automated testing tool for railway signalling.

Category: The Built Environment

Designing safer buildings in case of fire

Imperial College London and Arup

New structural engineering design tool underpinned by advances in fire science.

Generating a tsunami in a lab

HR Wallingford and University College London

Laboratory based Tsunami generator.

Productive public spaces in urban Kenya

Engineers Without Borders UK, Kounkuey Design Initiative Kenya

Collaborative effort to improve conditions in one of Africa’s worst slums.

SPECIFIC innovation and knowledge centre

Swansea University, Tata Steel, NSG, BASF, Cardiff University

Innovation Centre aimed at exploiting the use of smart materials to turn buildings into power stations.

Category: Transportation

Babcock blue light simulator

Babcock International, Serious Games International, Motion Simulation Ltd

Collaborating to create first blue light simulator to have 200 degree wraparound screen and haptic feedback

Materials strategic partnership

EPSRC, Rolls Royce, University of Cambridge, University of Swansea, University of Birmingham.

Collaborative partnership aimed at producing new materials for jet engines.

Project M – An ultra-energy efficient city car

Shell, Geo Technology, Gordon Murray Design

The design and production of a new concept city car

Smart wheel for aircraft taxiing

University of Nottingham, Safran – Messier-Bugatti-Dowty

 Electrically driven smart wheel for powering aircraft whilst taxiing

Category: Young Innovator

Sponsored by Renishaw

Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge design project

Watford Grammar School for Boys, Hyder Consulting

Design concept for a new pedestrian-Cycle bridge across the Thames

Nuclear crane zoning system

Future Tech Studio, Sellafield

Automated system for controlling movement of crane used to deal with nuclear waste at Sellafield

Here’s what our judges had to say about this year’s shortlist:

“The UK has a long and proud history in engineering and it’s going to form an even greater part of our future. These awards encourage a flow of excellent ideas and examples, particularly showing how industry and academia are working together to create a profitable future for us all.”

Paul Stein – Director Research & Technology, Rolls Royce

“These awards illustrate the strength, breadth and depth of collaboration between academia and industry in engineering and the impact they have on society and the economy.”

Professor Tom Rodden - Deputy CEO, EPSRC

“A brilliant set of nominations. I particularly enjoyed those nominations where engineers were working with other professions and we could see how innovation was moving from one sector across into another sector”

Professor Iain Gray – Director of Aerospace, Cranfield University

“An astounding array of nominations, not only from across different industry sectors, but also universities across the country”

Linda Miller - Engineer & Project Manager, Bechtel

“Engineering remains key to our current and future prosperity in the UK and collaboration is the bedrock upon which we base this. It’s been great to see the breadth and depth of the nominations and collaboration coming to the fore”

Professor Andy Wright – Director Strategic Technology, BAE Systems Programmes and Support

“Engineering is key to a balanced economy in the UK and we can see that when you bring the best people in industry together with the best people in academia you get real inspiring innovations.”

Henriette Lyttle-Breukelaar – Marketing and Comms Directors, HVM Catapult

“It’s great to see a celebration of engineering achievement in the UK and we really should use this to promote and publicise the value of engineering in society”

Robert Morton – Vice President, European Sales & Marketing, National Instruments

“A celebration of the best of British industry.’

Margaret Wood MBE – Managing Director, ICW

“For me the value of the competition is in the collaboration. Using the strengths of different members of the teams to produce an outcome that is bigger than the sum of the parts is what it’s all about”

Dawn Bonfield – CEO, Women’s Engineering Society

"A Great selection of projects with innovative ideas demonstrated across a variety of categories, highlighting collaboration between academia and industry, in some instances solving problems we don't realise we are facing!"

John Halton – Director, Business & Industry, Engineering UK

Click here to find out more about Collaborate To Innovate (C2I), including how to become a sponsor.


Collaborate To Innovate is sponsored and supported by the following organisations:

Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd - Headline Sponsor

Frazer Nash Consultancy - Headline Sponsor

High Value Manufacturing Catapult



Engineering UK