Scottish universities recognised for entrepreneurial excellence

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INGENIOUS inventions from Scottish universities have made it through to the Converge 2021 semi-finals.

The innovative developments from all of Scotland’s 18 universities have progressed to the next stage of the Converge programme.

Director of Converge, Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo praised the efforts of this year’s entrepreneurs: “I’m always amazed at the inventiveness and creativity of the projects coming through Converge and, despite the difficult times we’re experiencing, this year is no exception.

“Starting a business right now might seem counter intuitive. However, as the history books show, difficult business environments can offer rich opportunities with moments of crisis serving as a powerful impetus for innovation.”

Claudia Cavalluzzo Director of converge - Scottish News
Director of Converge Claudia Cavalluzzo

Amongst those who have made it to the semi-finals is University of Dundee lecturer, Helge Dorfmueller, who has developed a novel vaccine that could fight streptococcus.

This invention will make the availability of the vaccine universal as it reduces the cost of production, preventing almost 500,000 deaths annually to the virus.

Another semi-finalist from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Yvonne Wryoslawska, has launched a study to address postnatal depression through the power of music.

A University of Strathclyde graduate Kieran Duncan has founded a company named Mako Aerospace Ltd which has made him a semi-finalist for the net-zero focused project.

Mako Aerospace Ltd is aiming to develop engine technologies for sustainable flights in the form of an electric alternative to a jet engine which will decrease aircraft fuel costs by at least 60 per cent.

This year, entrepreneurs will attend business training and a series of masterclasses from a network of professionals who are partnered with Converge.

Joining the network is accountancy firm Chiene and Tait, who has signed a three-year deal, led by Neil Norman who will help entrepreneurs with vital tax and finance matters.

Mr Norman said: “This is an exciting partnership with Converge, an initiative which continues to get bigger and better.

“We’re delighted to have this opportunity to work alongside the group’s other highly regarded corporate partners to further support their extensive network of entrepreneurs behind innovative University spin-out businesses.”

Further information on the Converge programme is available on the website.