E&T Innovation Awards

E&T Innovation Awards reveal new categories relating to the fight against Covid-19

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Recognising that innovators and engineers have a duty of care to society, the IET has added 'Tech for Good'; 'Protecting Society and Saving Lives', and 'Small idea, Big impact: Global Challenge' as new categories for the 2020 awards.

The IET has access to some of the best engineering minds in the world and each year it recognises and celebrates the achievements of the most outstanding innovations across engineering and technology that tackle major economic and social challenges.

The IET’s mission is to inspire excellence in the engineering and technology sector and these awards put innovators' cutting edge technology and advances in the spotlight and help them to advance their fundamental work.

In the current climate, the NHS and other care providers across the world are tackling the Covid-19 outbreak, with engineers and innovators also helping in the fight against the pandemic, from creating a device to enable an elderly or vulnerable person to accept a food parcel to a mass-produced ventilator. The IET wants to hear about the organisations and innovators out there who are making a real difference and working to engineer a better world.

Peter Bonfield, IET President, said: “This is the sixteenth year of our Innovation Awards and we’ve seen some incredible innovations over the years that have made a real difference and helped to solve many global challenges. In these uncertain times, it’s important that we all work together, across all sectors, to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Our awards bring together the best innovative minds and adding these new categories in light of the current situation will hopefully bring about real change.”

There are 16 categories to showcase an innovation this year:

Digital Health and Social Care: looking for breakthrough innovation and creativity from organisations who are designing effective and efficient solutions to the health and care needs of international populations.

Future Power and Energy: recognising cutting-edge solutions within the energy sector across the areas of energy discovery, procurement and distribution.

Communications and IT: showcasing an organisation pushing the boundaries in the communications and IT sectors.

Manufacturing 4.0: from robotics to sustainability and beyond, looking for those companies that are committed to innovation and adapting to the new era of Industry 4.0.

Sustainable Planet: looking for an organisation that is making significant steps to bridge the gap between an unsustainable present and a more sustainable future.

Protecting Society and Saving Lives: designed to recognise the innovative activity of emergency services, sailors, soldiers, aircrew and marines from around the world.

Cyber Security: recognises an organisation which is taking proactive steps to counter attacks and take preventative measures to remain one step ahead of cyber threats.

R&D: Recognition will be given to entries delivering tangible, pioneering and original solutions which address specific needs, offering a new value stream.

Tech for Good: recognising tech whose product confronts hard problems facing our planet and society and which is transforming lives for the better and accelerates good.

Smarter World: awarded to an engineering team in recognition of a project which demonstrates how smart technology has been used to enhance user experience and champions better intelligent systems for creating a smarter planet.

Model-Based Engineering: recognises projects where modelling and simulation have been used in the design, implementation and test of products, especially innovative embedded systems.

Intelligent Systems: recognises excellence in the development of embedded and real-time systems that are typically highly connected, have massive processing power and perform complex functions that are often safety-critical or mission-critical.

Future Unicorn: putting the spotlight on the start-ups which have the potential to be the next tech giant. Open to engineering and technology start-ups from across all sectors.

Diversity & Inclusion Impact: recognising an organisation that has rolled out an initiative which contributes to building a move diverse and inclusive engineering and technology culture, and whose work has helped make the industry more accessible to people from under-represented groups.

Small idea, Big impact - Global Challenge: in response to Covid-19, there have been many examples of innovation, including technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to help track the outbreak, clean hospitals, deliver supplies and develop vaccines.

Leader of the Year: celebrating an exemplary leader whose vision, passion and strategic thinking has had a real impact on their organisation or the wider industry, particularly over the last 12 months.

Find out more about the 2020 E&T Innovation Awards.

The winners of the 2019 E&T Innovation Award were Heriot-Watt University and SP Energy Networks, for their joint work on a 'Network Constraints Early Warning System' (NCEWS), which generates algorithms to extract information about missing cable assets and voltage excursions.

The platform, now in use on the Scottish electricity network, uses huge quantities of data from smart meters to train deep-learning algorithms (which extract useful information as data is processed through multiple layers) to predict missing cable assets and voltage excursions across a network.

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