Edinburgh Innovations clients have taken the two biggest prizes in the Scottish EDGE awards, with Dyneval winning the top biotech award, sponsored by iBioIC, and Waterwhelm receiving the Higgs EDGE award for science, tech and engineering businesses. Both awards are worth £100,000.
Among other winners, EI client BioLiberty, which has designed an AI-powered robotic glove to strengthen the user’s grip, took £10,000 in the Wildcard EDGE category. In the Young EDGE competition, Lilypads, which produces environmentally friendly sanitary products, won £15,000 and Lenz Labs, developing novel technology to improve braking control for trains, was awarded £10,000.
Cattle conception rates
Dyneval provides portable technology for cattle semen analysis designed to help boost conception rates. It was founded by CEO Dr Tiffany Wood, Senior Knowledge Transfer Fellow at the University’s Soft Matter and Biological Physics Research Group, and Chief Technology Officer Dr Vincent Martinez, Research Fellow at the School of Physics & Astronomy.
Dyneval’s award is sponsored by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (iBioIC), one of Scotland’s seven publicly funded Innovation Centres.
Dr Wood and Martinez established Dyneval, whose name is a contraction of dynamic evaluation, in April 2020.
The average UK dairy farmer loses £37K each year due to poor conception rates, and at present, there is no quality control standard accessible for vets, farmers and technicians to check semen quality before reproduction. Dyneval’s technology provides an easy-to-use, automated and portable instrument for semen analysis.
“The team at Dyneval is absolutely delighted to have won a Scottish EDGE award. This award will accelerate our market readiness and growth to build a Scottish business that will have a strong and positive impact on the profitability and sustainability of dairy farming, worldwide.”
– Dr Tiffany Wood, Co-founder and CEO, Dyneval
Clean water pioneer
HiggsEDGE winner Waterwhelm has developed a game-changing membrane technology to produce drinking water from almost any source using a self-powered device. It was founded by Dr Ali Abbassi Monjezi, former Research Associate at the University’s School of Engineering.
Twenty-nine businesses from a range of sectors across Scotland were awarded a total of £1.175 million at the Scottish EDGE Awards Round 17, the UK’s biggest funding competition for potential high growth businesses.
At the virtual event, keynote speakers were Sir Tom Hunter and Matt Moulding, CEO and chairman of global technology platform The Hut Group plc that was recently valued at $6.3 billion (£4.5bn).
This year, Scottish EDGE received a record 305 applications. The finalists pitched to judges on 11 May in front of a virtual audience.
As well as awarding businesses with funding, Scottish EDGE also provides a business support package that includes mentoring, support and signposting to alternative finance. Its funding is awarded as 50% grant and 50% loan which is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success.