Heriot-Watt has secured two out of the five Scottish Enterprise funded Enterprise Fellowships announced by The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).
The two new Enterprise Fellows; Dr Ifeyinwa Kanu, researcher in the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, and Mechanical Engineering Master's graduate Selby Cary, will be hosted by the University for the twelve months of the Fellowship.
Dr Kanu's company IntelliDigest, which has developed the world's first autonomous and ultra-small scale organic waste digester, for onsite waste recycling, said: “RSE Enterprise Fellowships enable promising science and technology researchers to develop into successful entrepreneurs and receiving RSE Enterprise Fellowship is a huge success for me and for the future of IntelliDigest. It further confirms the uniqueness of our product and the ability to make knowledge useful in creating a better world. I am really very excited and look forward to achieving great progress for IntelliDigest during the Fellowship.”
Selby Cary, who has developed the world's first land drone, the Mantis Blade, explained his motivation: "For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of doing something fulfilling with my life and making a real contribution to society. With the funding I have graciously received from the RSE Enterprise Fellowship, I have been given the opportunity to pursue my dreams and I intend to make the most of it. Hopefully one day, with the help of the RSE, we will see the Mantis autonomously delivering packages, protecting our streets and saving lives.”
...for Heriot-Watt to secure two RSE Enterprise Fellowships is testament to the importance we place on enterprise development...
The RSE Enterprise Fellowships scheme was established in 1997 and provides support to researchers and innovators who have promising technology-based business ideas. The Fellowship programme helps them develop and launch new businesses, with companies formed across a wide range of fields. Since then, over 200 individuals have benefited from the highly competitive and prestigious programme which has been supported by Scottish Enterprise, BBSRC, STFC, NERC and QuantIC.
Encouragingly the female to male ratio of applicants to the scheme is strong, with 41% of Enterprise Fellows in the last 5 years being female.
Dr Gillian Murray, Deputy Principal for Enterprise and Business congratulated the new Fellows: “This is a significant achievement for Ifeyinwa and Selby, and for Heriot-Watt to secure two RSE Enterprise Fellowships is testament to the importance we place on enterprise development, and the quality of support provided by our Business and Enterprise team to students and staff throughout their enterprise journey.”
Edward Cunningham, Chair of the Enterprise Fellowship at RSE, added: “There has never been a better time to start up or spin out a company in Scotland. With such a strong record of success, the RSE's Enterprise Fellowship Scheme grows in popularity, allowing aspiring entrepreneurs to take those important first steps toward building a thriving business, whilst also supporting the growth of Scotland's economy and the nation's great tradition for nurturing innovation.”
The next deadline for Enterprise Fellowships is Monday 16 April 2018, and this month RSE launched the brand new £4m Unlocking Ambition Challenge entrepreneurial scheme for which applications are now open until Wednesday 2 May.