An academic from University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has scooped a prestigious award at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards – picking up the accolade of ‘Knowledge Exchange Hero’.

Dr Marco Gilardi, a lecturer at the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, picked up the award in recognition of his exceptional work through UWS’s sector-leading Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme – which ranks number one in Scotland, and within the top-five universities in the UK, for KTP portfolio size.

Professor Milan Radosavljevic, Vice-Principal of Research, Innovation and Engagement at UWS, said: “This is well deserved recognition for Dr Gilardi, who truly is a knowledge exchange hero, working tirelessly to provide the very best support and guidance to our KTP Associates and business partners.

“This award recognises Marco’s hard work and determination and is a further example of our KTP programme blazing a trail in the sector.”

Dr Gilardi has a background in mathematics and computer science. He researches software and design tools for interactive graphics and extended realities for training and education, with an interest in multimodal interaction, producing various publications and a patent.

His involvement in Paisley-based start-up, The VR Hive, led to many beneficial opportunities for students, staff and the company. He also led a highly successful project with The Scottish Crannog Centre, designing an innovative immersive gallery that exploits augmented reality technologies.

Dr Gilardi added: “I’m absolutely delighted to be given the accolade of ‘Knowledge Exchange Hero’. I’m proud to be involved in the UWS KTP programme and the incredible opportunities it presents for graduates to become KTP Associates – who are the real heroes of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

“’Many thanks to The VR Hive team for the nomination and support for this award.”

The awards – now in their seventh year – mark the biggest celebration of knowledge transfer between industry and academia in Scotland. The awards not only recognise exceptional work, they also provide an opportunity to showcase some of the game-changing innovation that stems from these important partnerships.