The fight for the UKâs most prestigious prize in innovation is underway, with three of the most exciting engineering projects the country has to offer shortlisted for the coveted MacRobert Award. The awards are judged on excellence in innovation, commercial success and benefit to society, with Raspberry Pi, Darktrace and Vision RT the final three companies in the running for the main prize.
Raspberry Pi is the biggest name of the three, known for building small and cheap microcomputers. The company has sold over 14 million of these relatively inexpensive devices, which can be used as a control centre for virtually anything. Its uses range from scientific experiments to the creation of video games and multi-room sound systems.
Darktrace is the worldâs leading machine learning company for cyber security, and is a by-product of the University of Cambridge. The company uses AI algorithms which imitates the human immune system in order to defend enterprise networks of all types and sizes.
Finally, we have Vision RT. This business develops market leading technology for Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT), with the comfort and safety of the patient enhanced by this technology. All three companies have a great case for winning, but only one can take the top accolade.
Andrew Herbert, one of the judges for the 2017 award, told Professional Engineering, âInnovation can mean many things, including scientific invention, new engineering approaches, improvements to manufacturing and combining ideas from multiple disciplines. Commercial success can easily be measured in terms of revenue and company value, but really we look for more â such as creating new markets or introducing game-changing products.â
The winner of the MacRobert Award will win a cash prize of Â£50,000. This will be announced by the Royal Academy of Engineering on June 29th at a gala event in London, so good luck to the three contenders!