Presented by the Information Retrieval Specialist Group of the BCS, these awards recognize people, projects, and organisations around the world that have excelled in the design of search and information retrieval products and services.

If you know of any people, projects, or products that deserve recognition, let us know by submitting a nomination. Alternatively, if you're involved with something special yourself, you can submit an application today.


This year we are offering five awards:

  • Best search user experience (of a web site / mobile app / information resource, etc.)
  • Most promising start up (or new enterprise)
  • Best open source project (of all shapes & sizes)
  • Search professional of the year (who is your unsung hero?)
  • Best paper / presentation (at Search Solutions)

The last award is open only to presenters at Search Solutions, and will be judged on the day of the event.

Judging Panel

Winners will be selected by our panel of judges (details to be announced shortly).

Awards Ceremony

The awards ceremony will take place during Search Solutions on 22 November 2023. Winners will receive a framed certificate and a public listing on the IRSG Awards site.


We’ve designed the application process to be simple to complete.

If you are unsure which category to apply for, or have questions about the application process, contact us via the address below. Nominations will remain open until 31 October 2023.


If you have any questions on the above, please contact Tony Russell-Rose at tgr2uk+irsg AT

Previous award winners

Search Industry Awards Winners 2022
  • Best search user experience goes to Boston University/Reza Rawassizadeh, Yi Rong for their work on ODSearch, searching very large amounts of data on resource constrained devices, such as smartwatch, close to real-time.
  • Most promising start-up goes to Giotto AI, an all-in-one platform to automatize, digitalize, and standardize the data collection, analysis and writing of a Clinical Evaluation Report.
  • Search Professional of the Year is Adam Tocock, Library Assistant at NHS. What makes Adam stand out is all the additional effort he puts into supporting colleagues and improving the skills and knowledge of other NHS librarians and knowledge specialists who conduct searches for research evidence on a daily basis.
  • Best presentation at Search Solutions (as voted for by the audience) goes to Filip Radlinski (Google) for his work on “Challenges with Really Understanding Natural Language in Conversational Recommendation”.
Search Industry Awards Winners 2021
  • Best search user experience goes to Lexis Nexis for their work on Open question answering on Lexis+, the first open format question answering system for the legal domain.
  • Most promising startup goes to Resolute.AI, a New York based startup that has created a AI driven platform to search major FDA databases in the public domain in a federated way.
  • Best open source project goes to CiteSeerX, one of the largest open source academic search engines with over 10 million documents. All code and documents are open access under a CC license.
  • Search Professional of 2021 is Dr Stuart Mackie, Lead Data Scientist at BiP Solutions. Dr Mackie was the KTP Associate on a KTP project with BiP Solutions Ltd – he was tasked with improving BIP Solution’s search solutions for procurement searchers and increase their relevance through machine learning.
  • Best presentation at Search Solutions (as voted for by the audience) goes to Olivia Foulds, Department of Computer Science, University of Strathclyde. Olivia gave us an intriguing insight to her work on the effects of visual distraction and clutter on information seeking behaviour.
Search Industry Awards Winners 2017
  • Most promising start-up of 2017 goes to Search|hub by CXP Commerce Experts GmbH for their work on developing and commercialising a system that infuses human understanding into existing search applications by automatically correcting human input and building context around each and every query.
  • Best Search Project of 2017 goes to Elsevier DataSearch. This project is a data search engine that allows scientists and researchers to search for many different data types and formats across a variety of domain-specific and cross-domain institutional data repositories and other data sources. Mark Stanger accepted the award on behalf of Elsevier.
  • Best presentation at Search Solutions goes to Mark Harwood of Elastic, for a talk titled "Tackling toxic content with the elastic stack". Mark gave us an intriguing insight to his work on the application of search technologies to the identification of content that's undesirable, such as hate speech, fake news and extremist promotions.
Search Industry Awards Winners 2016
  • Most promising start-up of 2016 goes to ContextFlow, for their work on developing and commercialising the radiology image search technology developed in the EU FP7 Khresmoi project as the product Radiology Explorer. The certificate was presented to Markus Krenn, Quality Manager at ContextFlow.
  • Best Search Project of 2016 goes to Rich Miller, Todd Frascone and Serena Wellen of Lexis Nexis for their work on Search Term Maps. This project is the culmination of years of research into how legal professionals glean information from documents within query results. It displays query-term hit-patterns from the most relevant parts of each document allowing users to quickly scan results lists and documents for relevant results and home in on the best case for their issue.
  • Best presentation at Search Solutions goes to Frederic Fol Leymarie of DynAikon Ltd, for a talk titled “Human Visual Perception + Computer Vision to provide greater User Control for Shape-based Search”. Frederic gave us an intriguing insight to his work on the application of perception/psychophysics and computer vision to the problem of indexing and retrieval of objects in static and dynamic video scenes.