A reception at Edinburgh Castle has marked the official end of a programme that pioneered a distinctive approach to industry engagement and which is now widely acknowledged as a model of best practice within the Scottish university sector.
The Converge project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, was initiated in 2009 to create a world-leading resource for the University to forge links with industry; exchange knowledge; develop businesses and create jobs in Scotland.
A key aim of the project was to develop long term relationships with partners in industry and to specifically address their individual needs, and involved collaborative projects with companies of varying sizes, from micro companies through to large multinationals in a diverse spectrum of sectors, from high value manufacturing to energy and food and drink.
The Business Development team acted as an interface between the companies and the University's research teams, covering Entrepreneurship, Business Development, Marketing and Enterprise Creation through university spin-outs and the successful Converge Challenge, now Scotland's largest university start-up competition.
Professor Alan Miller, Deputy Principal, Research and Enterprise Services said, "These collaborations have been truly symbiotic. For our partners they have led to new products, services, increased turnover and new jobs. Heriot-Watt has enjoyed publishable results, the opportunity to contribute research expertise, new licenses and long-term collaborative opportunities for academics. We wanted to create a world-leading resource for Heriot-Watt to be able to quickly and effectively respond to enquiries from industry. I think we can safely say: mission accomplished."