Innovation Awards 2020

E&T Innovation Awards 2020: who will the winners be?

Image credit: E&T

The conclusion of the E&T Innovation Awards 2020 draws near, with the winners to be announced on Thursday 19 November. This year's Awards celebrate people, projects and organisations that are revolutionising our world through excellence in engineering and technology.

While the black ties and cocktail dresses may remain in the wardrobe for this year’s E&T Innovation Awards, the change in circumstances opens up the event to the entire engineering and technology community. This year, everyone is invited. For free. All you need to do is register online - it's free.

It is an event that not only rewards industry’s finest, it also inspires. The shortlisted companies and projects demonstrate what can be achieved when technical excellence is combined with imagination and determination.

Judging was fastidious. Each category had an independent chair and a team of judges selected from across industry and academia. Many hours of examining documents and investigating claims were followed by debate by Zoom to ensure the right choice was made. When all the winners were collected together a further judging panel selected an overall winner, and the recipient of the inaugural TechForGood E&T Innovation Award.

That winner will be revealed towards the end of the event – an event that will be co-hosted by Maddie Moate and Greg Foot. No doubt this duo will bring the same energy and enthusiasm to the awards that they normally use to enthral TV audiences, and in particular their ability to capture children’s inherent fascination with science and the natural world.

A special award will be presented to the ‘Leader of Year’ – an individual whose vision, passion and strategic thinking has had a real impact on their organisation and the wider industry and society.

Put it in your diary – 4pm on 19 November – and if you feel so moved, put on the black tie or cocktail dress!

Further details about the categories and finalists are available online, including information about the judging panel, the panel chair and the criteria used to sift entries and select a winner.

The winners of each category will be announced at the virtual ceremony, to be held online at 4pm on 19 November 2020. Registration to watch the ceremony is free.


Image credit: E&T

This year's categories for E&T Innovation Awards 2020, under the banner of 'Engineering a better world', are as follows:

  • Best Diversity & Inclusion Impact
  • Excellence in Cyber Security
  • Excellence in Intelligent Systems
  • Excellence in Model-Based Engineering
  • Excellence in R&D
  • Excellence in Smarter World
  • Future Unicorn
  • Outstanding Innovation in Communications & IT
  • Outstanding Innovation in Digital Health and Social Care
  • Outstanding Innovation in Future Power & Energy
  • Outstanding Innovation in Manufacturing 4.0
  • Small Idea, Big Impact: Global Challenge
  • Visionary Award for Protecting Society & Saving Lives
  • Visionary Award for Sustainable Planet

From the above 14 winners, the judges will ultimately select one outright winner of the E&T Innovation Awards 2020, who will receive the ‘TechForGood’ Award.

Out of adversity comes opportunity. Moving to a virtual event for 2020 means that the E&T Innovation Awards ceremony can be enjoyed live by everyone. To register for a free place, go to

Beyond enjoying the ceremony, you will be the first to discover the recipients of:

  • The E&T Innovation Awards
  • The TechForGood Innovation award
  • Innovation of the last 150 years
  • Leader of the Year Award

Join us live from Savoy Place at 4pm 19 November 2020.

Some of the Award nominees this year include:

Shortlisted for ‘Outstanding Innovation In Manufacturing 4.0’, TGO’s platform technology replaces electronic sensor networks with a flexible conductive material that senses touch.

TGO VR headset and hand controllers

Image credit: TGO

Shortlisted for the ‘Excellence in Cybersecurity’ award is Israeli start-up Sternum, which provides cyber security for IoT devices.

Sternum cyber-security

Image credit: Sternum

Chinese company XAG’s R150 unmanned ground vehicle, the world’s first mass-produced farm robot, is up for E&T’s ‘Excellence in R&D’ award.

XAG's R150 autonomous farm robot

Image credit: XAG

UK-based NG Bailey’s Point of Connection Mast (POC-MAST) is hoping to grab E&T’s ‘Outstanding Innovation in Future Power and Energy’ award.

NG Bailey's Point of Connection mast

Image credit: NG Bailey

MTR Corporation’s smart junction solution to enhance light rail transit safety is lined up for the ‘Excellence in Intelligent Systems’ award.

MTR Corporation

Image credit: MTR Corporation

Shortlisted for the ‘Protecting Society & Saving Lives’ award is JHubMed & Army Medical Services’ (1 Div) trial of Pando, a medical messaging service designed to support deployed healthcare.

JHubMed & Army Medical Services

Image credit: JHubMed

The judges this year have been impressed with the breadth of innovation and ingenuity on display in all of the entries this year, expressing their admiration in such comments as “The entries in this year’s competition were of extremely high quality and all finalists are deserving of this award”; “In these times, the contribution engineering can make to health is more important than ever”; "The judges felt this was a great innovation with real potential as it brings down cost and speeds up process”; “The entry embraced the ethos of the awards, demonstrating innovative and creative thinking, taking highly advanced technology and re-defining it to deliver significant environmental and sustainable benefits” and “This is a highly developed, patented and commercialised entry which is proving attractive to external partners.”

Watch the Awards live on Thursday 19 November and read more about the event online here at the E&T website on Friday 20 November.  

Greatest innovation of the last 150 years

This is a debate that will never reach a satisfactory conclusion for everyone – in the technological world, what is the greatest of them all? The whole E&T Innovation Awards programme has an advisory panel made up of household names in the engineering and technology sectors. They are: Charles Adler, Kate Bellingham, Professor Sue Black OBE, Dr Poppy Crum, Professor Danielle George MBE, Chris Hayhurst, Dickon Ross, Fran Scott, Dr Shini Somara, and Professor Kevin Warwick.

They were set the task to draw up a shortlist of four. It is now down to the public vote to determine what is technology’s GOAT – Greatest Of All Time?

Voting, which will continue throughout the Awards ceremony, can be done via Twitter (@EandTMagazine). The result will be announced at the end of the event. 

Here are the final four.



Image credit: Dreamstime

Antibiotics fight infections caused by bacteria. They have been recognised for millennia (the ancients identified mouldy food as being capable of fighting infections) but it was really Alexander Fleming’s identification of penicillin in 1928 that led to the appreciation of what antibiotics can do, and they were credited with saving millions of lives during World War Two. It is impossible to be accurate, but estimates of how many lives have been saved by penicillin alone (it is only one member of the antibiotic family) vary between 80 and 200 million.

“While antibiotic overuse is now a concern, there is no doubt that their adoption has transformed modern medicine and substantially increased the life expectancy of the majority of human beings.” – Dickon Ross, editor-in-chief, E&T.



Image credit: Dreasmtime

While we all want to know where we are, the applications for GPS are becoming more apparent and compelling as we move towards a fully connected planet. Industry 4.0, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things are all going to depend on GPS for their evolution and adoption. In its own right it is a triumph of combined technologies ranging from satellite and electronics to communications and navigation.

“Allows computers to be more accurate as they run on GPS clocks, allows pinpoint accuracy to a person and, of course, means you can find your way to your dinner party.” – Fran Scott, maker, presenter, pyrotechnician.

The Internet / Arpanet


Image credit: Dreamstime

It’s everywhere, it’s brought us together in a time of isolation, most importantly it has allowed the E&T Innovation Awards to go ahead virtually. Critics might try and say it is an application rather than a technology, but from its humble beginnings linking a few American defence computers in the 1960s (the Arpanet) it has evolved to be a cornerstone of most people’s lives. Much of the ‘new technology’ developed today revolves around what new tricks the internet can be made to do.

“We’re just getting started with what’s possible and the profound impact of the internet’s presence, but it’s clear it has already dramatically changed our daily lives and the way in which the world works.” – Charles Adler, designer, technologist and entrepreneur.

The microprocessor


Image credit: Dreamstime

The ultimate enabler. Without our silicon building block there would be no practical computers, smartphones, internet, or indeed Netflix to take our minds off being in lockdown. Back in 1965 when Intel’s Gordon Moore came up with his famous law that predicted exponential growth in computer chip capability, he surely must have thought that it would have reached physical limits by 2020. But Moore’s Law still holds and the mighty microprocessor continues to underpin everything else that technology is built upon.

“Once again, the underlayment of the past 80-plus years, the microprocessor has changed the world to such a degree it’s hard to imagine a world without it at this point.” – Charles Adler, designer, technologist and entrepreneur.

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