Scottish Innovative Student Award (SISA)

What is it?

SISA is a new awards programme that develops innovation skills in students and issues certificates for each stage completed. SIE is running the programme in partnership with three of Scotland’s Innovation Centres (DataLab, Digital Health and Care Institute, and CENSIS).


Why participate?

The businesses of the future require employees and entrepreneurs to have innovation and enterprise skills such as creativity, problem solving and the ability to communicate well.
Participating in SISA will enhance a student’s ability to stand out in the graduate recruitment market, and develop future-ready skills that will open up new career opportunities. They will learn how they can embrace the opportunities and challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as innovative employees or as future entrepreneurs.

SISA provides an opportunity for students to:

  • recognise the innovation skills they have developed within the curriculum (level 1)
  • build on these skills and apply them to societal challenges in multidisciplinary teams (level 2)
  • demonstrate an intent to innovate and take action (level 3).


Level 1 – Future Thinkers

This is delivered within the curriculum by SIE or by course lecturers. Your lecturer will tell you if your course is eligible. Students must apply online for their Level 1 certificate, and demonstrate their understanding by answering the question ‘What new thing did you learn and how does that relate to the future and to your future?’

Apply here for your Level 1 certificate


Level 2 – Innovation catalysts

Open to students who have already achieved a Level 1 certificate and who are interested in new ideas and in making them happen. Successful applicants will attend a one day workshop (on either 24th November or 23rd February) that will allow them to build on the innovation skills they have learned in Level 1. They will work in multidisciplinary teams to tackle a real life challenge on the theme of INCLUSION, set by SIE and three of Scotland’s Innovation Centres, DHI, CENSIS and DataLab.

Both workshops will take place in Glasgow, and successful applicants will have their travel costs reimbursed.

Apply here to participate in Level 2


Level 3 – Innovation Champions

For this advanced level, students must complete an online worksheet demonstrating their ability to apply the innovation process to their own project, which may be curricular or extra-curricular.
Successful applicants will receive recognition as an Innovation Champion and will be able to access support tailored to their needs in order to advance their idea, such as:

  • Access to unique opportunities including invitations to relevant events
  • Introductions to industry contacts
  • Specialist advice on your project from SIE and Innovation Centres business advice, etc.

The online application process for Level 3 is open until 31 January 2019. Everyone who has has successfully completed Level 2 will receive a link and application guidance.


Summary of 2017-18 Programme: