Edinburgh Innovations client Touchlab has taken the top prize at Scottish EDGE, and five fellow EI clients took home a large share of the £1 million awarded in the competition.
Touchlab, which is developing an electronic skin to give robots a human-like sense of touch, for use in space and hazardous environments, won the £100,000 Higgs EDGE award for science, technology and engineering businesses.
Touchlab was founded by Dr Zakareya Hussein when he was a PhD student at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Sensing and Measurement, and Laura Garcia Caberol when she was a Product Design masters student.
Another big winner on the night, ŌGI Bio, founded by University of Edinburgh staff Dr Teuta Pilizota and Dr Alex McVey, took the inaugural IBioIC award of £45,000. Their biotech startup’s retrofittable, modular devices aim to change the way microbes are grown and managed.
Dr Genevieve Patenaude, Senior Lecturer at the School of Geosciences, won a £30,000 award for Earth Blox, which promises easy access to earth observation data. Last month Dr Patenaude won the top prize in the Converge competition, a rare double win in the same season of these two prestigious Scotland-wide competitions.
Among the Young EDGE winners, BioLiberty, a startup founded by students Rowan Armstrong and Ross O’Hanlon to develop a glove for sufferers of hand weakness, was awarded £15,000.
Crover, which is developing the first robotic probe to monitor grains within silos, won £10,000 in the Young EDGE competition. Founder Lorenzo Conti recently reached the final stages of the internationally renowned Startup Battlefield competition.
In the Wildcard category of the EDGE awards, Bright Page Technologies took home £10,000. Founded by student client Howard Moshtael, Bright Page is innovating in the digital reading experience, with text that responds to eye movement, enabling much faster reading and with applications in the visual aid sector.
The University of Edinburg winners at Scottish EDGE 16 have all been supported throughout their entrepreneurial journeys by EI’s Enterprise Services team, and several have secured previous grants, awards and places on accelerator programmes with EI’s help. All three student winners are recent alumni of EI’s Summer Startup Accelerator programme.
Scottish EDGE is funded by the Hunter Foundation, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and private donors. The total value of grant and loan funding secured by Scottish EDGE since 2013 is £17m, and EDGE has distributed almost £15m in grants and loans across 436 awards.