DHS celebrates Jane Stewart, a Women in Innovation

Dunblane High School reveals Purple Plaque to celebrate Jane Stewart, a Women in Innovation Award Winner

Dunblane High School has announced that it has hosted an event to celebrate former pupil and Head Girl, Jane Stewart, by unveiling a purple plaque in her honour on the school site. 

Jane won the prestigious Women in Innovation Award from Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).  Purple plaques are being displayed at schools across the UK to recognise the achievements of the winners of the prestigious national Women in Innovation Award.

Jane Stewart is part of a growing network of over 150 Women in Innovation Award winners involved in inspiring solutions to pressing societal, environmental, and economic challenges; from multi-grip bionic arms for amputees, an AI that curbs your unhealthy cravings, satellite data to detect long-lost archaeological sites and data solutions to bring visibility and value to waste resources.  She was the sole Scottish winner of the 2021/22 awards.

Jane has been at the forefront of transformative change in recycling and resource management for over 20 years and understands first-hand the opportunity for innovative technology and data solutions to unlock environmental and social challenges.  Through these awards, she has been recognised for her efforts in the sector, pioneering technology and data solutions to change the fate of waste.  Jane holds several positions as Non-Executive Director/Chair across a portfolio of companies including Topolytics, a data analytics company making the world’s waste more visible, verifiable, and valuable.

Mr Stuart MacKay, Headteacher at Dunblane High School said: ‘We are delighted that Jane has received this award and we are very proud to display the Purple Plaque in Dunblane High School reception. Jane is an inspiration and role model to all our young people and we are honoured to have such a fantastic ambassador for our school.”

Jane Stewart said: “I am humbled and honoured to receive this plaque in the company of such an amazing group of young people.  Huge thanks to Mr MacKay, the school and parent council for their warm welcome and support. I’m proud to be an alumni of Dunblane High, an incredible school which played such an important part in shaping the person I am today – as much for the values it instilled and the lifelong friendships as the academic learning. 

Innovate UK’s support has played a vital role in enabling Topolytics to solve technical and data challenges as it developed WasteMap®, a data analytics platform for waste producers. I’m passionate about changing the lens on waste as a resource and the impact of technology and data to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.  We need a far greater pace of innovation and investment to develop new business models, processes, skills and infrastructure as we move towards Net Zero and beyond waste. Ultimately enabling the materials revolution where resource efficiency is maximised and negative impacts of waste on our environment and communities are eliminated.  Diversity of thought is needed – if we think and act the same we’ll not get there fast enough.  

The purple plaque initiative helps to provides visibility for women actively trying to be the change they want to see and hopefully inspires and encourages the next generation to play a vital part in such evolution, to make their own positive impact on society.

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