Innovation-fostering winner of 2022 Panmure House Prize announced in Edinburgh

The winner of one of the UK’s biggest academic awards has been announced, crowned at a ceremony in Edinburgh todaynote-0, and praised for having the potential to make a serious difference to the process of innovation.

By Emma Newlands
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 4:45 pm

Dr Aravind Ganesh, an assistant professor at Canada’s University of Calgary, has won the 2022 Panmure House Prize of $75,000 (£62,000) to fund “exceptional” research into long-term investment and its relationship with innovation, in the spirit of Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith.

The annual award takes its name from Panmure House in Edinburgh, the former home of Mr Smith – who is regarded as the father of modern economics –and it is supported by investment firm Baillie Gifford, based in the Scottish capital, while its patron is Nobel laureate Professor Sir Angus Deaton.

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The work of Dr Ganesh, who was presented with his award at Panmure House, contrasts the current funding paradigm for medical research and innovation with Mr Smith’s ideas about the free market. By winning the prize, Dr Ganesh will be have the opportunity to advance his research into developing a free market to encourage donor engagement and long-term investment in medical research and innovation.

He said: “This tremendous honour will help drive our research on the real-world performance of our novel platform, Collavidence.com, for funding medical research that involves a precision approach to crowdfunding guided by an open, dynamic peer-review system. Thank you to the judges for your trust and acknowledgement of the importance of this potentially transformative work.”

The judging panel is chaired by Scottish financial services veteran James Anderson who now serves as director of Hearts FC and chair of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik. He said: “Both academic economics and finance have lost their way. Of course, there are exceptions but, in general, we are in a mess.

"We shouldn’t need a prize to stimulate academic thought about the combination of innovation and finance, but we do… We felt that Dr Ganesh’s work, with its direct link to Smith’s own ideas about free markets, and its potential to make a serious difference to the process of innovation, was a worthy winner of this year’s award.

The winner was crowned during a ceremony at Edinburgh's Panmure House, once home to Scottish economist Adam Smith. Picture: contributed.

“We all have an interest in encouraging innovation, which is so crucial in sparking the solutions to many of the challenges the world faces today.”

The work of winner Dr Aravind Ganesh contrasts the current funding paradigm for medical research and innovation with Adam Smith’s ideas about the free market. Picture: contributed.