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Highland firm wins national innovation award

Published: 23/02/2018

A kit home and window manufacturer with operations in Caithness and Inverness won a national award for innovation at a special ceremony in Edinburgh last night (Thursday 22 February).

Norscot’s system that enables clients to view their new homes on site virtually before building work starts, scooped the Innovation of the Year category of the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards.

The company partnered with University of Strathclyde to research and develop the virtual reality show home software for mobile phones.

This combines advanced interactive visualisation of buildings with Building Information Modelling (BIM) data, for the first time. The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre in Hamilton funded the proof of concept. 

The project was supported and facilitated by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), who also made the links with Interface, the organisation that runs the awards. Interface in turn helped Norscot find an academic partner to develop the software.

Claire Farquhar, HIE account manager in Caithness, said: “This is a great achievement for Norscot and we are absolutely delighted for them. The company has shown tremendous drive and innovation; important factors for business growth.”

After being shortlisted for the awards, Norscot chairman Peter Body, said: “We find clients increasingly asking to view a show home. But, since we specialise in supplying one-off customised kits, throughout the UK, this simply isn’t feasible. The new software will allow clients to interact with the design process and view their new home in a virtual environment, on their site, before any work commences.”

Interface is funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, and HIE. It encourages businesses to consider academic support to help solve their business challenges. The Scottish Knowledge Exchange awards recognise, reward and celebrate impacts achieved through this form of collaborative partnerships.

The Innovation of the Year Award is for an innovative product, process or service that has been developed with a university, research institute or college partner, facilitated by the Interface Voucher Funding Programme.