Heriot-Watt University, long regarded as a hub for innovation and creativity, has two shortlisted projects in the Impact Challenge and Converge Challenge categories for the Converge 2019 awards.
Representing the University in the Impact Challenge is Faisal Ghani with SolarisKit, a unique solar collector providing affordable, clean heat for homes and businesses. Designed specifically for deployment in developing countries, SolarisKit is flat pack in design, simple to install and cheap and easy to transport. As well as empowering people by giving access to low-cost, clean energy, SolarisKit is providing a practical solution to the global challenge of climate change.
In the Converge Challenge category is Maiwenn Kersaudy-Kerhoas of Natantis who has developed an innovative device that could revolutionise the way blood samples are prepared for use in cancer diagnosis. Natantis' lead product, CNAsafe, is the world's first automated benchtop system that standardises the way in which samples are prepared for use in a variety of liquid biopsies. Natantis' solution allows for robust, fast, reproducible, near-patient extractions addressing a clear market gap to standardise sample preparation for clinical diagnosis and biomarker discovery.
Overall the judging panel selected 18 finalists from 12 institutions across Scotland. They include prospective start-ups and spin-outs with women entrepreneurs strongly represented in the final shortlist (55 per cent).
Finalists will now go head-to-head at the Converge Awards Final which takes place at the iconic V&A in Dundee on 25 September. On the night, a prize package of equity-free cash and in-kind business support totalling £220,000 will be shared across three competition categories: Impact Challenge; Creative Challenge and Converge Challenge.
Converge Director, Claudia Cavalluzzo comments:
“Entrepreneurship has never been more important that it is today, not just in terms of generating economic growth and creating jobs, but also as a solution to some of society's most urgent challenges including climate change, social inclusion and public health. The calibre of this year's Converge finalists is proof positive that our Universities are playing a pivotal role in the enterprise agenda and are at the forefront of innovaiton for the public good”
“At Converge we work collaboratively with all 18 of Scotland's Universities, helping the most creative thinkers from academia to turn their discoveries and ideas into commercially viable businesses. We are delighted to be working with such a strong cohort of innovators and look forward to springboarding their success”
For further information including full details on all finalists, please visit: www.convergechallenge.com
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