First Minister's Award for Manufacturing Leadership

Nominations deadline extended to 01 July

Celebrating Scotland's innovative and exemplary manufacturing companies

The First Minister’s Award for Manufacturing Leadership recognises and celebrates competitive and innovative manufacturing companies who champion fair work and inclusivity while investing in the skills and wellbeing of their employees and contributing to a positive future for the planet. It is brought to you by Making Scotland’s Future partners and Scotland CAN B, our national programme leveraging business as a force for good. Scotland CAN B supports the aim of the Scottish Business Pledge to boost productivity and competitiveness through fairness, equality and sustainable employment.
The Scottish Government aims to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth – that is, economic growth that fairly distributes the benefits of increased prosperity while protecting the planet and promoting positive economic opportunities for all. We therefore welcome applications from all companies who can demonstrate the fact that inclusive growth and productivity are complementary aims – that business for good is good for business. This could include, for example, instances where work to improve employee wellbeing has also helped to improve productivity; where improvement programmes have noticeably increased participation and morale; or, where promoting social and environmental goals has led to stronger business outcomes.

The four headings below form the basis of the application process. We believe they give significant scope to set out the ways in which your company has achieved inclusive and sustainable growth in practice.

Of course, we also recognise the challenges COVID-19 has had on the sector’s recent activities and the challenges that have had to be overcome. Therefore, applications describing inclusive responses to the pandemic – such as adapting practices to remain operationally resilient, or efforts to support the workforce whilst ensuring workplaces remained safe – will be warmly welcomed.  

Common Questions

Entry is open to all manufacturing companies based in Scotland.

Just fill out and submit the application form in the link above. Under the headings described above, you will be asked to demonstrate how your company has achieved inclusive and sustainable growth. A word limit will apply to each section. 

The deadline for submitting applications has been extended to 01 July. Applications will then be reviewed by an initial sifting panel and then a final judging panel. It is planned that the winner will be announced during the course of the current year.

The package of prizes on offer is designed to help your business continue to grow and innovate, and includes:

  • A menu of tailored business support* from the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS).

  • A consultation with the Scotland CAN B team on tools and methods to further leverage business as a force for good.  

  • Two places, together worth £2,500, on a delegation of industry leaders visiting an overseas advanced manufacturing site, 

    arranged by the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS).

  • One year of free Enterprise membership of Scotland House London, which includes access for all members of the winning organisation to Scotland House’s hot desks, meeting rooms, event spaces and exclusive networking events.
  • bespoke award trophy designed by students on Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) Engineering Design and Manufacture Graduate Apprenticeships programme, in collaboration with NMIS, and made using advanced manufacturing techniques. This is to recognise and celebrate some of the skills initiatives put in place to bring through the next generation of manufacturers.

Subject to terms and conditions, and up to a maximum value of £5000, this support could include:

1.     Design Engineering input into a new product or system development, paying particular focus on unlocking sustainable/circular opportunities early in the product lifecycle, maximising opportunity to reduce environmental impact through life. May include production of a sustainability canvas, workshops or a draft product design specification addressing the 5Rs (Re-think, Reduce, Remake, Recycle, Recover). 

2.     Market acceptance guidance with respect to verification, validation and qualification (certification) associated with a new product development or associated with re-deploying an existing product into a new application or market, may include TRL assessment, Technology Qualification guidance or CE/UK CA Marking support. 

3.   Provision of hosting and supporting a one week design sprint for the adoption of digital manufacturing innovation solution.

4.     A connectivity and digitalisation assessment of manufacturing facilities and review of potential improvement options.

5.     A digital scan of manufacturing premises and provision of completed 3D model to initiate digital visualisation of factory and floor layout.

6.     An onsite skills review and subsequent provision of consultancy support / training to address the key needs of the business. trop


Applicants must be willing, on request, to cite referees or provide relevant supporting information to validate any claims made in the Award application, OR provide a reason why a referee or supporting information do not need to be provided. 

Award prizes are non-transferable and deliverability will be dependent on any relevant COVID-19 regulations in place at the time. We will liaise with prize winners on logistics in this event.Accordion Content