Academic Entrepreneurs are Awarded Prestigious RSE Enterprise Fellowships

The RSE is pleased to welcome the next cohort of Enterprise Fellows onto the programme. Eight entrepreneurs, from eight UK Higher Education Institutions, each with innovative business ideas will benefit from the support offered by the RSE’s prestigious Enterprise Fellowship programme.

Meet our newest Enterprise Fellows:

Steve Greenland
craft prospect logoFunder: Scottish Enterprise
Host Institution: University of Strathclyde
Company: Craft Prospect

In the last decade, miniaturised, low-cost small satellites have enabled rapid growth in space missions. Many missions now target commercial applications requiring tens or hundreds of satellites each. Over this period, launch and satellite costs have been reduced significantly, but operations have not yet followed this trend. Craft Prospect will address this opportunity by harnessing the investment in other sectors, including machine learning, big data, and autonomous vehicles.

The company’s first product – the Forwards Looking lmager – uses AI to identify features in the upcoming environment, allowing real-time changes to the satellite schedule.

 

Paul McGinley
pyramid wifi logoFunder: Scottish Enterprise
Host Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University

Company: Pyramid 

Online activity can reveal almost everything about a person from banking and financial information to highly intimate details. With evolving GDPR legislation and high-profile data breach scandals, consumer awareness of online privacy is at an all-time high, however, there is a gap between knowledge of these issues and the ability for the average internet user to protect themselves.

Paul McGinley founded Pyramid to make protecting privacy online as simple as connecting to WiFi. Paul has created a simple, pocket-sized product – Pyramid WiFi – that pairs with any device over WiFi to protect privacy; allowing users, regardless of technical ability, to defend their digital rights.

 

Genevieve Patenaude
Funder: Scottish Enterprise
Host Institution: University of Edinburgh
Company: Quosient

The market for satellite-based analysis is growing at 6.5% annually. This growth is driven by an explosion in the availability of low-cost satellite data, however whilst global space data is easy to access and plentiful, local surface data (from ground, drones or aircrafts) is notoriously difficult to obtain.

Quosient provides the connection between the global demand with the local supply, and seamlessly merges surface data with satellite data through a cloud-based map-interface and data processing service. For companies offering satellite-based products and services, Quosient can reduce their validation costs by 50%. For the locally-based high-resolution surface data suppliers, Quosient optimises downtime, increases global reach and supports scope expansion.

 

Aliakbar Hassanpouryouzband
Funder: BP Fund held by the RSE
Host Institution: Heriot-Watt University
Company: HydraSlush

With a growing population, increasing standards of living and rapid socio-economic development, global energy consumption continues to soar, ever increasing our carbon footprint. The world must de-carbonise. Using hydrogen as a low carbon energy vector and efficient fuel is not only desirable but is currently technologically feasible and cost-competitive.

The key to unlocking a hydrogen-based economy is the safe, effective, and economical storage and delivery of hydrogen on a global scale. Aliakbar has, therefore, founded HydraSlush®; a  patent-pending, efficient, and scalable hydrogen storage process. With high market potential across the renewable energy, transportation and fine chemicals sectors, Aliakbar will use his Enterprise Fellowship to explore and capitalise on the market potential and commercial opportunity this product has.

 

Shireen Davies
Funder: BBSRC
Host Institution: University of Glasgow
Project: Biopesticide Discovery and Development

Shireen’s vision is to become the world-leading provider of neuropeptide-based bioinsecticides to control economically important insect crop pests.  Conventional chemical-based insecticides are used extensively, however, they have an environmental impact on beneficial insects such as pollinators, and, rapidly increase the development of insect resistance.

Recent regulatory changes require that all pesticides now demonstrate no risk to human health or the environment. This has made/will make many existing commercial pesticides illegal and is driving the demand for new insecticides. This market gap will be met with low/no-residue peptide-based insecticides targeted towards pest species, and this is the opportunity Shireen hopes to exploit.

 

David Harvey
Funder: BBSRC
Host Institution: University of Nottingham
Project: Application of spider silk biomaterials

Animal-derived biomaterials (ADB) (such as collagen) are used within various markets such as healthcare, academic and commercial R&D and cosmetics. Whilst providing benefits, they are not perfect, installing a raft of problems for producers and consumers such as production bottlenecks, batch to batch variation, disease transfer and lack of functionality. There is also growing consumer pressure to reduce ADB use in products.

David Harvey’s project uses biocompatible and non-immunogenic recombinant spider silk biomaterials that are non-animal derived and have the potential to be produced at a commercial scale. Furthermore, they can be functionalised with a large number of bioactive molecules, imbuing them with antimicrobial activity, enhanced wound healing capabilities or the ability to deliver therapeutics. David’s spider silk biomaterials provide a high performance, non-animal derived replacement for current technologies/products (collagen in wound care, keratin in cosmetics) within several large commercial markets.

 

Georgina Hazell,
Funder: BBSRC
Host Institution: University of Bristol
Project: U-RHYTHM

Currently, there are no methods for measuring body-chemistry without expensive hospitalisation, disruptive recurrent blood sampling, and requirement of bulky benchtop collection machines. The ability to measure the undisturbed fluctuation in a patient’s body-chemistry over 24-72 hours (e.g., hormones, proteins, drugs etc.) in their normal environment, would prove a step change in how the medical community can diagnose patients and advance many areas of medical research.

Georgina Hazell’s U-RHYTHM device is a custom-built portable collection unit worn around the waist, that collects interstitial fluid samples from subcutaneous tissue every 20 minutes. High demand for the U-RHYTHM device from the scientific and medical communities has prompted its commercialisation.

 

Martina Miotto
CellulaREvolution logoFunder: BBSRC
Host Institution: Newcastle University
Company: CellulaREvolution

Martina Miotto’s company, CellulaREvolution, aims to commercialise its self-assembling lipopeptide coatings for companies that need to grow adherent cells. Martina has two product lines:  a simple coating that works on a variety of surfaces that can aid in the replacement of animal-derived cell growth components (such as serum), and a ground-breaking technology in continuous cell culture which uniquely overcomes barriers presented by the current limitations of traditional batch cell culture.

Several markets could benefit from these products, such as cellular agriculture (e.g. clean meat), production of biologics (mainly viral vectors) and cell therapy. Martina will work on her route to market during her Enterprise Fellowship.

 

RSE Enterprise Fellowships supports promising academic innovators; enabling them to develop into successful, world-class entrepreneurs. During the award, Enterprise Fellows receive a year’s salary, expert business training and mentoring.

RSE Enterprise Fellowships have 2 application rounds each year, the next deadline is 17 April, then the 23rd October 2019. To find out more and stay updated visit the RSE Enterprise Fellowship webpage.