Co-Operative Development Scotland (CDS) has announced that the Collaboration Prize 2016/17 is now open for businesses in the Scottish construction sector.
CDS is an arm of Scottish Enterprise working in partnership with the Highlands and Islands Enterprise that supports company growth through collaborative and employee ownership business models.
The Collaboration Prize aims to encourage firms to collaborate on ideas and pitch them for a new collaborative enterprise that will help them gain access to new markets.
To be eligible for the Prize, the business or consortium must be based in Scotland, have an innovative idea to implement by setting up a consortium co-operative and have identified other potential members for the consortium.
A specific focus of this year’s competition is accessing new and international markets, with up to two of the five prizes being awarded to firms that demonstrate strong international ambitions to be delivered via the collaboration.
Sarah Deas, director, Scottish Enterprise, commented, “The Collaboration Prize provides the opportunity to raise awareness of the business benefits of collaboration. Working with others can help a business grow, and reduce the costs and risks of tackling new markets or investing in new processes.
“Simply speaking collaboration can make your company better at what it does. Whether it’s about sharing resources or finding new markets, collaboration can bring efficiency and lead to increased profits.
“This year the Collaboration Prize focuses on accessing new markets, with a particular focus on international markets. It aims to help small businesses achieve scale and realise international ambitions.”
Minister for business, innovation and energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said, “Scotland is a CAN DO nation and there is no doubt that innovation and collaboration are key to adapting to changing market circumstances and customer needs, be they local, national, regional or global.
“The Collaboration Prize will help to bring together the best with the best, forging strong links that are vital for creating and sustaining economic growth.”
John McCreadie, founding member of ArchBlue Ltd, one of last year’s winners, commented, “The Collaboration Prize gave us the impetus to formalise what has been an informal, ad-hoc working relationship between a number of companies.
“Winning the Collaboration Prize has helped us to establish a brand identity for ArchBlue Ltd and market its services to potential customers. We believe the collaborative approach will add strength to tender submissions and allow us to bid for projects we wouldn’t necessarily have the ability to pursue as individual businesses.”
ArchBlue Ltd offers services including 3D measuring and modeling, archeological recording and visualization, conservation planning and 3D printing with a focus on the heritage sector.
The Collaboration Prize 2016/17 is open for entries until 18 November. Up to five winners will be selected by a panel of judges to receive £5,000 to implement their idea and up to £5,000 business support, delivered by Scottish Enterprise of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. International winners will be announced in March 2017.