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Spirit of Adam Smith inspires innovation prize

Panmure House: famous home

One of the UK’s largest academic prizes – the Panmure House Prize – will support research into long-term funding for innovation.

The prize, worth more than £250,000 over five years, has been funded by asset manager Baillie Gifford and is now open to applications.

It is named after the final home of 18th century Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith.

Panmure House is in Canongate, Edinburgh and has been restored and reimagined by Heriot-Watt University as a centre for social and economic debate and research.

Heriot-Watt, which will administer the $75,000-a-year prize, also announces the support of an internationally-renowned panel of judges.

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It is hoped the prize will shine a light on new ways to encourage longer-term investment into radical innovation, leading to solutions to some of the world’s most burning questions, including social inequality, climate change and sustainability.

Applicants must submit a research proposal of no more than 3,000 words by 15 April and the inaugural winner will be announced in July.

Heather McGregor: finest minds

The patron of the prize is Sir Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize winner, Senior Scholar and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University.

Professor Heather McGregor, executive dean at the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University, said: “Adam Smith used to bring the finest minds of the day together in Panmure House to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems.

“We wish to carry on his legacy through inviting the finest minds today to try and identify how best to develop long term funding, which will enable radical innovation.”

The winner of the Prize will be invited to present the findings of their research proposal to the Panel at Panmure House in Edinburgh in July 2022 (subject to global health conditions), when the following year’s Prize recipient will also be announced.

James Anderson, Partner at Baillie Gifford and Chair of the Panmure House Prize Panel said: “It’s a great opportunity to focus on the contribution that serious and innovative long-term investment can make at a time when it is desperately needed.”

The full list of judges is:

  • James Anderson, Panmure Prize Panel Chair, Partner at Baillie Gifford and Joint Manager of Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust
  • Dominic Barton, Ambassador of Canada to China, Chancellor of the University of Waterloo, Global Managing Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company
  • Afsaneh Beschloss, Founder & CEO of RockCreek
  • William Janeway, CBE, PhD, Member of Faculty of Economics at University of Cambridge and Special Limited Partner, Warburg Pincus
  • John Kay, CBE, FRSE, FBA, FAcSS, former Dean of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, a Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, a Fellow of the British Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Heather McGregor, CBE, PhD, Executive Dean of Edinburgh Business School, the School of Business at Heriot Watt University
  • Hiro Mizuno, UN Special Envoy on Innovative Finance and Sustainable Investments and former CIO of Government Pension Investment Fund (Japan)
  • Renosi Mokate, PhD, Executive Chair at Concentric Alliance (Pty) Ltd, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Government Employees Pension Fund (South Africa), Member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (South Africa)
  • Nitin Nohria, PhD, 10th Dean of Harvard Business School
  • Adrian Orr, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
  • David Pitt-Watson, Fellow of Cambridge Judge Business School, Co-founder Hermes Focus Funds/EOS, Former Chair UN Environment Finance Initiative 
  • David Teece, PhD, Thomas W. Tush Professor in Global Business, Faculty Director, Tusher Center for The Management of Intellectual Capital at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, FICRS, FNIMN, MCIBS, a member of the S&P Global Sustainable Finance Scientific Council, and Head of Sustainability at Access Bank Group
  • Sarah Keohane Williamson, CAIA, CFA, CEO of FCLTGlobal


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