Business support

Highland firm in line for national innovation award

A kit home and window manufacturer with operations in Caithness and Inverness has been shortlisted for a national award for innovation.

A kit home and window manufacturer with operations in Caithness and Inverness has been shortlisted for a national award for innovation.

Norscot is one of three finalists in the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards 2018 Innovation of the Year category, after developing a system for clients to view their new homes on site virtually before building work starts.

The company partnered with University of Strathclyde to research and develop 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 has been 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. We wish them every success in the finals.”

Peter Body, Norscot chairman, 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.

The awards ceremony will take place in Edinburgh on Thursday, 22 February.

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