Edinburgh. Monday 22 February 2021. One of the UK’s largest academic prizes – the Panmure House Prize – launches today to support research into long-term funding for innovation.

Heriot Watt University, who will administer the prize, also announces the support of an internationally-renowned panel of judges. Nobel prizewinner and economist Sir Angus Deaton, whose father attended Heriot-Watt University, is the patron of the prize.

The Panmure House Prize is an award of $75,000 each year over the next five years to emerging leaders in academia who are planning to produce outstanding research on the topic of the long-term funding of innovation in the spirit of Adam Smith, the eighteenth century Scottish economist and philosopher.

The prize is named after Smith’s final home in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, which has been restored and reimagined by Heriot-Watt University as a centre for social and economic debate and research in the 21st century.

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 have to submit a research proposal of no more than 3000 words by April 15, 2021, and the inaugural winner will be announced in July.

Among the panel of judges, which includes some of the world’s most renowned economists and business leaders, are chair James Anderson, partner at Baillie Gifford; Adrian Orr, governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand; and Hiro Mizuno, Special Envoy to the UN.

The full list of judges is:

The Patron of the Panmure Prize is Sir Angus Deaton, FBA, PhD, 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.

The Panmure House Prize Panel will judge submissions alongside Panmure House staff and FCLTGlobal – a US-based non-profit with the mission of rebalancing capital markets to support a long-term, sustainable economy – who will be the Research Partner for the Prize. The prize has been generously funded by Baillie Gifford, which has committed $375,000 to fund the awards over the next five years.

Applications open today to anybody affiliated with an academic institution around the world, with the inaugural winner announced in July. Applications are particularly sought from early career researchers, including post-doctoral students.

The announcement of the prize coincides with the 200th anniversary of Heriot Watt University.

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.

Professor Heather McGregor, Executive Dean of the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot Watt University, said: “The aim of the Prize is central to the mission of Panmure House, the final remaining home of globally renowned economist and philosopher, Adam Smith.

“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.”

“I am delighted that we can recognise the University’s bicentenary in such unique and memorable way.”

James Anderson, Partner at Baillie Gifford and Chair of the Panmure House Prize Panel said: “We’re delighted to support the inaugural Panmure Prize. 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. We very much look forward to reading and discussing a plethora of important papers.”

The Panmure House Prize is, in the first instance, funded for five consecutive years.

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at Heriot-Watt University, said: “Throughout this year, we will be celebrating 200-years since the early beginnings of Heriot-Watt University, providing us with the opportunity to reflect on where we have come from while having a focus on the future.

“Over two centuries, our mission has remained the same; to create and exchange knowledge for the benefit of society. I’m delighted the inaugural launch of the Panmure House Prize is being delivered in the same spirit and I wish each of the entrants the very best of luck.”


Notes to editors

About Panmure House

Panmure House, located In Canongate, Edinburgh, is the final remaining home of Adam Smith, philosopher and ‘father of modern economics.

Originally built in 1691, Smith occupied the House between 1778 and 1790, during which time he completed the final editions of his master works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations.  Other great luminaries and thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment visited Smith regularly at the House across this period.

In 2008, Edinburgh Business School & Heriot-Watt University undertook to rescue this historic building from dereliction. Following a 10-year, £5.6m renovation, Panmure was formally opened in November 2018.

Our mission is to provide a world-class 21st-century centre for social and economic debate and research, convening in the name of Adam Smith to effect positive change and forge global, future-focussed networks.

This is in service of our vision: a world in which businesses and governments serve the long-term common good; where policies and public discourse are inclusive, well-reasoned and founded on research.


For more information

Scott Reid

[email protected]

+44 7912 483423

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