Seven University projects in the running to be Converge winners

Seven University projects in the running to be Converge winners

Seven breakthrough ideas featuring emerging technologies that could change the way we live and safeguard the planet have made it to the semi-finals of Converge, Scotland's springboard for university-born innovators.

Split across three of the challenge categories - Converge, Net Zero and KickStart - the University of Aberdeen projects that have progressed to the penultimate stage in Scotland’s premier company creation competition are:

Converge Challenge

Led by graduate Guilherme Theiss De Rosso, Ikarian Healthtech is a holistic digital health platform that utilises AI technology to collect data from health tracker wearable devices like smartwatches transforming into personalised insights that help users to take control of their health.

Net Zero Challenge

BlackBox, a cutting-edge wave energy harvester, which ingeniously transforms ship oscillations into electricity during idle times. Seamlessly installed like a standard container onboard, it heralds a new era of sustainability at sea. The project is led by postgraduate Mohsen Lalehparver.

Hychor, from postgraduate student Jani Shibuya, taps into the limitless potential of seawater to lead the acceleration of green hydrogen while preserving precious freshwater sources. The team believe their cutting-edge systems grant new opportunities for expanding new technologies and driving economic growth to shape a greener, more sustainable future for all.

Graduate Bharat Thakkar’s Wattacurrent is a new energy product that operates in river system for generating renewable electricity via its innovative turbine design. A self-contained product, it can operate 24/7 unlike wind and solar, is friendlier to ecosystem and does not block fish passage or sediment movement.

KickStart Challenge

Safeveillance, led by Hanna Nosal, Sochima Eze and Sarina Bhalla, aims to improve how crime is dealt with allowing an on-demand, real-time reaction which will help victims of violent crimes. The team believe it will decrease crime rates in areas of a higher reported crime rate.

Graduate Petar Baltov’s project Skyborn AI is a vision-based navigation system that allows drone aircraft to estimate their positions in non-GPS environments. Unlike traditional GPS, the system operates anywhere, adapting to real-time conditions, ensuring uninterrupted operations for both military and civil applications, even in GPS-jammed areas.

And lastly, Sof Source International, from graduate Olusoji Lawrence Taiwo. This ground-breaking hardware/software solution revolutionises the way industries monitor facilities by offering real-time-tracking of gas leaks in oil/gas facilities, carbon emission monitoring during carbon capture processes, and identification of cracks in various infrastructures like rail-lines/cables.

Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, executive director of Converge, said: “Innovation thrives on the intersection of creativity, curiosity and market needs and nowhere is this more apparent than in our 2024 cohort. Representing the very best academic innovators from across our world-beating university sector, their ideas have the potential to fundamentally change life as we know it.

“I’m also encouraged to see such a multitude of projects from diverse backgrounds this year. Scotland has always been a welcoming place, particularly in our universities. It’s great to see that they continue to attract top-tier students and researchers from around the world.”

All 100 semi-finalists will now be invited to attend in-depth business training with the most advanced projects invited to pitch their ideas live to an invited audience of investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders on 5 June in Edinburgh.

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