Six new Scottish consortia are celebrating after winning a share of the £60,000 Collaboration Prize.

Launched for entries in September 2016, the Collaboration Prize attracted a record number of responses from across Scotland.  It was delivered by Co-operative Development Scotland on behalf of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Island Enterprise in partnership with Business Gateway and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

Each of the winning collaborations will receive £5,000 to implement their collaborative idea, advice to set up as a consortium co-operative, up to £5,000 business support and export advisor support where appropriate. 

Below Co-operative Development Scotland director Sarah Deas gives a brief introduction to each of our winners and a summary of their collaborative idea. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at each of our winning collaborations and learning more about their plans for the future.

Accessing new and international markets was a specific focus of this year’s competition and we awarded two of the six prizes to consortia which demonstrated particularly strong international ambitions to be delivered via the collaboration.

Made in Scotland, which has members across the country, is a collaboration of eleven Scottish companies involved in the food and drink sector.  The consortium offers a range of products including salmon, cheese, cakes and charcuterie as well as craft gin, craft beer and whisky. The collaboration will enable member businesses to offer the basket of Scottish produce to lucrative overseas markets by pooling together their resources and experience, both intellectually and financially.

Made In Scotland Collaborative Export Solutions team members

We spoke to Willie Cameron from Made in Scotland on winning the Prize and he said:  “It is fantastic news to hear we have been successful. The money and support will enable us to access expert advice on marketing food and drink on a global scale, as well as allowing us to develop our brand and create a website with e-commerce functionality. This will help us to really get our name and offering out there on a magnitude that would be far more difficult for us to achieve as individual companies.

“Not only does working together enable us to reach an international customer base as a whole, it also encourages us to support each other by highlighting new opportunities that we think will benefit individual members.  By continuing to collaborate, we aim to further boost Scotland’s global reputation as a producer of some of the finest food and drink in the world, hopefully attracting more of the country’s like-minded, quality producers to join us along the way.”

We also caught up with Paul Fennon from Look Team about how winning the prize. He said: “The cash and support will help us achieve a number of goals, beginning with in-depth research of the global sporting events market and investigating the best way to scale our operation internationally. The commission of a bespoke Inventory Management System for managing and tracking event Kit of Parts (KOP) will help us to streamline our services and increase efficiency, giving us a competitive edge when tendering for contracts. We also plan to get in front of the right people by identifying and attending major international trade shows, allowing us to forge potentially lucrative relationships and explore significant business development opportunities.

Look (Branding & Application) L-R Andrew Stevenson, Paul Fennon

“Forming the consortium enables us to deliver a unique service which is usually provided by two distinct companies. Working so closely together means we can combine our expertise and push creative and technical boundaries in ways that others in our field don’t. Having achieved a significant degree of success on a national level, our ambition now is to mirror that success internationally and we look forward to the doors that collaboration will open.”

The response to this year’s competition has been fantastic and as a result we have six brilliant winning consortia, all of whom will be using the support and funding they won to structure their consortiums, develop their business ideas and access new markets.

Through the Prize the aim is to inspire businesses to be innovative and consider collaboration as a means to achieve growth.  By collaborating businesses can reduce costs, share risks and create new platforms for growth.

The other Collaboration Prize winners were:

Healthworks Consortium, L-R Niall Gosman, Marney Ackroyd, Karen Davidson, Kevin Dewar

  • Healthworks: a team of health and wellbeing professionals that have come together to help businesses optimise their employee’s physical, psychological and personal wellbeing. The new venture will create innovative, bespoke health and wellbeing services that are truly integrated.Startup Drinks Coop Scotland, L-R Hannah Fisher, Paul Strachan
  • The Start-Up Drinks Lab: a collaboration by two innovative soft drink businesses who aim to work together to solve manufacturing challenges faced by drinks entrepreneurs in Scotland. The focus is to establish accessible manufacturing facilities that meet the small scale production requirements of start-up drink businesses.Terrier Risk Partners, L-R Tom Inglis, Alison Stone, Chris Knight
  • Terrier Risk Partners: three experienced businesses coming together to provide cyber security solutions allowing them to tender for larger contracts such as the opportunities offered by the Scottish Government and partners, such as the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband.  Their joint expertise includes risk assessment, business continuity, protection and recovery.Offsite Hub (Scotland)
  • Offsite Hub: This collaboration comprises nine companies involved in off-site construction. Following the UK Government’s 2025 Construction Strategy identifying off-site construction as a vehicle for delivering improvement targets for the construction sector, the Off-Site Hub Scotland was formed to promote improved market awareness, address emerging skills challenges and to foster a collective approach to ongoing research & development in the use of timber construction technology.