Scottish Innovative Student Award (SISA)

The Scottish Innovative Student Award (SISA) Programme, run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise in partnership with three of Scotland’s Innovation Centres (DataLab, Digital Health and Care Institute, and CENSIS), is the perfect opportunity for students to tackle real life challenges through their graded units, final year or post graduate coursework.  By participating, students will benefit from a rich source of inspiration and supporting information that will help them find an idea for their coursework, project or dissertation and, at the same time, make a difference to some of the big social and economic issues facing Scotland both today and in the future.

The theme for the academic year 2017-18 is “Innovation and the home”. Topics that can be considered within this theme include, but are not limited to: smart care and eHealth; cybersecurity; the use of data; environmental and energy issues; the circular economy.

Students studying any subject are encouraged to enter and apply their own skills and knowledge to the theme. The Award programme is ideally suited to students in their final year, but is open to any student who would like to work on a project relevant to the theme. There are three distinct phases in the programme: Inspiration, Discovery and Realisation. By participating in each phase, students can achieve different levels of the award.


Why should students participate?

  • Opportunity to work on a real life challenge as part of course work – taking part in the awards can give additional insights into coursework and support them towards their final assessment
  • Enhance graduate CV with a SISA Bronze or Silver certificate
  • Identify new and unexpected career opportunities on graduation
  • Chance to win a Gold Award and be named one of the Scottish Innovative Students of the Year 2018.



Inspiration Phase – Bronze Award

Participation in this phase involves attending an SIE regional Inspiration Workshop (or curriculum based workshop, where available), which will teach them more about the theme of ‘Innovation and the home’, help them to develop new skills and show them how they can tackle real life problems. All workshop participants will be eligible for the Bronze Award but they must register their participation afterwards on the Bronze registration page and answer a simple question to be formally recognised and receive their Bronze Award certificate.

Sign-up for an Inspiration workshop here


Discovery Phase – Silver Award

Students don’t have to have attended a Bronze Workshop, but must complete an online application form (live Jan 2018) that asks them to identify a problem or opportunity that relates to the theme. The best 50 applicants will be invited to Discovery Day where they will be helped to explore and further develop the idea. The Silver Award certificate will be presented at the Discovery Day.


Realisation Phase – Gold Award

Silver Award winners can then register to participate in the final stage for a chance to be awarded with one of a highly limited number of Gold Awards. Gold Award finalists will be interviewed and then winners will be announced at an exclusive Awards Dinner.