Dr Adam Stokes wins inaugural DDE Academic Entrepreneurship Award

Dr Adam Stokes (centre) with Dr George Baxter (left) and Professor Jonathan Seckl (right)
Dr Adam Stokes (centre) with Dr George Baxter (left) and Professor Jonathan Seckl (right)

Dr Adam Stokes of the School of Engineering has won the University’s first Data Driven Entrepreneurship (DDE) Academic Entrepreneurship Award, presented to a member of academic staff who has shown outstanding leadership in driving entrepreneurship among students and fellow researchers.

Dr Stokes, Director of the Soft Systems Group, was praised for encouraging PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to link their work to industrial needs and to commercialise the outputs of their work.

Research students and staff said he instilled confidence in first-time entrepreneurs that they could become successful founders of spinout and startup companies. His research group testified to the exceptional support and encouragement he provided to help them engage in entrepreneurial activities, develop their ideas and to commercialise their research for the greater good.

This new award, sponsored by the University’s Data-Driven Entrepreneurship Programme, was delivered through the University’s DDI Hubs, supported by Edinburgh Innovations and EUSA. It was presented jointly by Professor Jonathan Seckl, Senior Vice-Principal, and Dr George Baxter, Chief Executive Officer of Edinburgh Innovations.

Reacting to the award, Dr Stokes said: “This award recognises the role of knowledge exchange as an essential feature of the research landscape. Entrepreneurship requires a complementary set of skills and knowledge to those employed in my role as a research academic.

“I am passionate about science and engineering, and I feel a sense of responsibility that publicly funded research should – where appropriate – deliver economic and societal impact outside of the laboratory.

“The students who have nominated me for this award are outstanding engineers and entrepreneurs who share a common vision: creating the world in which we want to live.”

Professor Seckl said: “I am highly delighted that Dr Adam Stokes has won the inaugural Data-Driven Entrepreneurship Award. Encouraging entrepreneurship in our staff and students is a key mission for the University of Edinburgh.

“We have made great strides over recent years, as illustrated by our students and graduates starting over 100 companies in the last year and our rise into the UK top five in the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction ranking.

“With inspirational educators and researchers like Adam Stokes, the University will go from strength to strength in developing and supporting the entrepreneurs who will create the industries and jobs of the future.”

Dr Baxter said: “Our ambition is to add to our reputation as a world-class university by attracting the very best students who are also interested in starting their own business. Academics such as Adam exemplify the very best of that drive – academics who can inspire and lead the University in this agenda.”

Find out more