Aberdeen students among Scotland's 2019-20 Student Innovation Champions

University of Aberdeen students were among 59 from across Scotland who achieved the highest level of the Scottish Innovative Students Award (SISA) programme in the 2019-20 academic year.

The programme equips university students with a forward-thinking and enterprising business skillset and has been specifically designed to encourage students to embrace the challenges and opportunities facing the country.

Aberdeen students Adrian Hernandez, Aleksandra Sonia Romanczuk, Alvaro Rafael Martinez Moreno, Chimezie Marvin Akuagwuagwu, Eilidh McDade, Emma Lawford, Hannah Rhodes, Nghiep Lucy, Pedro Domínguez Balderas, Sarina Kosewsky-Griffiths and Temitope Ojewola were successful recipients of the SISA Level 3 award.

They also earned the title SISA Innovation Champion and their success was celebrated at an online event today (June 4).

The online event explored how the students can make the most of the skills they developed during the programme and how they can apply them successfully in the future in their studies, as valuable employees, or as innovative entrepreneurs.

The challenge for the SISA 2019-20 programme was inspired by the United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs), which the Scottish Government has committed to since 2015. The SDGs encourage a sustainable future for all, recognising that tackling climate change and preserving natural spaces must go hand in hand with tackling poverty and deprivation.

Participating in the event were speakers from IBM, the Institute of Directors and Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, who all emphasised how the competencies the students developed through the programme are valued by employers. Students also heard from Stuart McNab, a graduate now working for Ernst & Young about his experience.

Speaking about their achievement, Fiona Godsman, Chief Executive of SIE, said: “The students, and their universities, should be very proud of the hard work it has taken to reach the highest level of the SISA programme, and this is just the beginning for our new Innovation Champions. With their experience of tackling the UN SDGs, recognising their importance and the interconnectedness of global issues, they can take their new skills & ideas out to the wider world and act as a positive force for good. We look forward to seeing the impact they will have.”

SISA was developed by SIE in partnership with four of Scotland’s Innovation Centres; the Datalab, CENSIS, CS-IC, and the Digital Health & Care Institute. The programme will run again in Academic Year 2020/21. For more information on SISA: www.sie.ac.uk/SISA