Special Covid-19 UK Response Project Award


We are in exceptional times and the UK has responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with a range of innovative and rapid projects to protect health, save lives and maintain economic stability. This outstanding contribution by so many organisations and individuals across the UK needs to be formally recognised. As part of this, we are awarding a special category in 2020 to recognise the best Covid-19 response project in the UK.

The first stage of the award was open to public nominations until 25th September 2020 and subsequently, a special judging panel decided on the top ten finalists. The public vote to select the overall winner closed on 28th February 2021 and the the overall winner RECOVERY: Trials of Dexamethasone to reduce patient mortality was announced on 15th July 2021 at the National Project Awards virtual gala event.

Below you will find information on each of the ten finalists.

Top 10 finalists in alphabetical order

01 Aberdeen City Council: Covid-19 Remote, Secure Collaboration Programme

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic early this year dramatically changed the way Aberdeen City Council (ACC) works. Fortunately, the local authority was ready to respond. In a multi-phase project started in August 2019, ACC has partnered with Microsoft Consulting Services to improve service provisioning, enhance team collaboration, and streamline remote work.

The Council moved applications and data to Microsoft Azure, rolled out chatbots and robotic process automation, and empowered remote work with Microsoft Teams. Within 40 hours of the first stages of lockdown, people were working from home. Now thousands of employees are using Microsoft Teams for video conferencing, and chat messages in Teams have skyrocketed from 40,000 a week to 365,000. All of which is invaluable at a time of physical distancing. After going live in February 2020, the council’s chatbots – the first at a Scottish local authority – have been responding to approximately 200 individual queries per day, drawing on data held securely in the cloud. The programme was critical in keeping staff connected, serving customers, and supporting vulnerable citizens during the pandemic. Partly in recognition of its commitment to digital transformation, Aberdeen City was named Local Authority of the Year at the UK’s MJ Achievements Awards 2020.