The GRID enterprise team celebrates successful first six months supporting tech start-ups



GRID team

The enterprise team at Heriot-Watt University’s Global Research, Innovation and Discovery (GRID), home to the university’s Business & Enterprise Hub incubator, has been working with tech start-ups and spin-outs including SolarisKit, Celestia, Suji BFR, Farm-Hand and Alana throughout the first quarter of 2020.

The £19 million GRID was launched to drive the university’s capabilities such as immersive technology that bridges engineering, business and computing science.

And it is using its global partnerships and online communities, including with large tech players worldwide, to stay powered up during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The facility is also planning to build on existing initiatives around wellbeing across its Scotland-wide and international hub network, with campuses in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur along with those in Edinburgh, Orkney and Galashiels, by seeking to initiate new partnerships globally.

David Richardson, chief entrepreneurial executive at Heriot-Watt, said: “Our objective is to drive real impact by establishing new companies as well as helping existing organisations collaborate and innovate with our talent pool of students, researchers and early-stage entrepreneurs. We have many enablers for this within Heriot-Watt including the Edinburgh Business School Incubator, GRID and our Innovation Park.”

Paul Devlin, head of commercialisation at Heriot-Watt, said: “The purpose of the Enterprise team at GRID is to support companies through to, or at, the commercialisation stage and we are working with a really exciting crop of companies who are developing innovative solutions to real world problems.”

The team has been working with the following companies in the first quarter of 2020:


SolarisKit is a spin-out ‘cleantech’ company from Heriot-Watt that recently raised £250,000 to develop low-cost solar heat technology for deployment in developing countries.

Celestia UK is part of Netherlands-based Celestia Technologies Group that specialises in satellite and aerospace-related technology. It moved to GRID for an initial 3-month period to establish a Scottish base and is set to transfer to Heriot-Watt’s Innovation Park later this year.

Farm-Hand is an ‘agritech’ startup founded in India that is moving its operational base to GRID at Heriot-Watt as it continues to develop Internet of Things-enabled technology to provide data analytics around irrigation for small to medium sized farmers.

Alana - the conversation AI software specialist that recently announced its formation as a spin-out company from GRID at Heriot-Watt. It expects to benefit from an increase in sales of touch-free devices in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Suji BFR helping athletes to manage training volume to avoid overtraining injuries and maintain muscular performance during periods of de-loading.  The Company helps athletes to focus on strength or endurance depending on exercise selection.