Minister briefed on University spin out companies



(l-r) Professor Bob Reuben, Professor Garry Pender, Shirley-Anne Sommerville

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, has visited the University's Edinburgh Campus to find out more about the work of Research Enterprise Services (RES) particularly with regard to spinout companies.

Having a thriving culture of innovation and creativity in Scotland is essential to our ambitions to improve productivity, competitiveness and inclusive growth.

Shirley-Anne Somerville

During her visit the Minister met with senior University management as well as representatives from Scottish Enterprise and spin-out companies KenoteQ, Horizon Proteins, Palpatation Diagnostics, Chromacity, MicroSense Technologies Limited (MTL) and Turtle Pack.

They discussed University's development work with spinout companies and how they collaborate with Scottish Enterprise to support this, including through enterprise fellowships and High Growth.

Shirley-Anne Sommerville said, “Heriot-Watt University is leading and supporting excellent activity to incubate start-up companies and provides a fantastic example of the focus on innovation and research that exists among Scottish universities.

“Having a thriving culture of innovation and creativity in Scotland is essential to our ambitions to improve productivity, competitiveness and inclusive growth. We need to ensure that more students get the support they need to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into reality.

“I am very pleased to have the chance today to hear more about the work being undertaken at Heriot-Watt with support from this government and Scottish Enterprise and am excited to meet some of the spinout companies that have formed. These are exactly the sort of developments we want all our universities to be fully involved with to help our economy prosper.”

Eleanor Mitchell, Director of Entrepreneurial Growth, Scottish Enterprise, said, “Scottish Enterprise works with partners to enable Scotland to become a world leading entrepreneurial and innovative society.  Our support focuses on increasing the ambition, ability, diversity and quantity of founding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and connecting them with the appropriate investors and experienced executives that can enable scalable growth.  The strength of Scotland's university research and their increased focus on entrepreneurship provides a rich pipeline of opportunities and Heriot-Watt University have proved to be an above average source for our High Growth Spinout Programme and the Scottish Enterprise supported Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowships.”

Professor Garry Pender, Heriot-Watt Deputy Principal, Research and Innovation, said, “Entrepreneurship is key to the Heriot-Watt research ethos and central to our degree programmes, and this is reflected in the number and quality of our spin-outs and start-ups.

“Support from Scottish Enterprise is much valued for our work and for wider business creation in Scotland. We appreciate this opportunity to discuss out Enterprise Journey, taking early stage ideas through to the market, as well as how we can develop partnerships in this work, our Enterprise Eco-system.”