Accelerator launch

DeepTech pilot aims to build disruptive start-ups

Robot technology at the National Robotarium

A six-month pilot scheme will give six technology entrepreneurs access to experts and facilities at Heriot-Watt University and the National Robotarium to help them develop prototypes that are ready for investment.

The entrepreneurs taking part in the DeepTech LaunchPad’s pilot will each receive a £15,000 innovation voucher which will be repaid if they raise funding or hit operating profit targets.

The programme is supported by the Barclays Eagle Labs Ecosystem and funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. 

If the pilot scheme is a success then DeepTech LaunchPads may be rolled out across other Scottish universities.

Grant Wheeler, head of commercialisation at Heriot-Watt University, said: “Having a deep-tech accelerator is one of the missing pieces in Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and will allow our nation to create companies that can compete on an international scale.

“Deep-tech isn’t about organic improvement – it’s about harnessing the latest scientific research and engineering breakthroughs to create companies that will disrupt their industries and grow to a global scale.

“We expect that the businesses that will be created will go on to attract support from other parts of Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as Codebase’s Techscaler programme and Scottish Enterprise’s programmes for high-growth businesses.”

Matthew Corbidge, director, Barclays Eagle Labs, added: “Heriot-Watt University’s DeepTech LaunchPad is exactly the type of game-changing initiative that we want to support through our Ecosystem Partnership Programme.

“This isn’t about reinventing the wheel or setting up competing schemes – instead, this is about spotting gaps in the ecosystem and helping existing players to fill that need.

The National Robotarium is part of the £1.3 billion 15-year investment programme jointly funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, the Scottish Government, and regional partners.

Its pioneering £22.4 million facility acts as an innovation hub for the practical application of robotics and autonomous systems in industry and society. 

CGI and Napier tie-up

IT consulting firm CGI and Edinburgh Napier University have formed a partnership that aimd to strengthen services for staff and students.

It will also create opportunities for collaborative research and the joint development of intellectual property in the fields of health, wellbeing and sustainability.

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