Converge Award success for innovative University projects

Converge Award success for innovative University projects

Two University of Aberdeen businesses have been named runners up at this year's Converge awards.

The University was represented in three out of four categories at this year’s hotly contested awards which saw entries from almost 250 Scottish start-ups.

Joint founders of Aberdeen-based Two Raccoons Lasse Rasmussen and Elliott Martens were named runners up in the Create Challenge. Their business uses soft fruit waste from the hospitality sector across the north-east to make different flavours of wine including strawberry, pear, mango and orange. 

In the Converge Challenge category, staff-led project BrigID Bio was also a runner up. It has seen a novel drug discovery platform developed which produces human monoclonal antibodies effective in tackling serious fungal infections. These antibodies enhance survival and reduce fungal burden in animal models. They offer a promising therapy for life-threatening fungal infections, especially in high-risk groups.

Converge’s mission is to help the next generation of innovators, creators and groundbreakers turn their ideas into commercially viable businesses to improve lives, safeguard our planet and help Scotland’s economy thrive.

The University was also shortlisted in the Net Zero Challenge category.

The winners and runners-up were named at the 13th annual awards ceremony in Glasgow last night. 

Innovation Minister Richard Lochhead, who attended the event, said: “Entrepreneurship and innovation are at the heart of our National Strategy for Economic Transformation, and academia-industry collaboration helps fulfil Scotland’s potential to nurture many more inventive new start-up companies.

“We recently published our National Innovation Strategy which sets out our vision for Scotland to become one of the most innovative small nations in the world over the next decade. The strategy includes how we can support the creation and growth of more university spinouts and innovative businesses and products.

“With a focus on tackling environmental and societal challenges, this year’s winners have demonstrated outstanding talent and creativity and I congratulate all those that took part in this year’s awards for their efforts.”

Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, executive director at Converge, said: “Scotland’s universities are truly world-class and this is evident in the achievements and ambition demonstrated by the talented pioneers we’ve recognised at this year’s awards. These founders represent the magic that Scotland needs to realise its ambitions and fulfil its potential as one of the world’s greatest nations of innovators.

“Supporting young companies that are focused on creating positive impact and long-term societal change is imperative for everyone working in the innovation ecosystem as these companies hold the future of our economy and society in their hands.”

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