Students and staff from the University have scooped top prizes in the Edinburgh Bioquarter Innovation Competition.
The funding will enable them to commercialise their ideas to improve human or animal health and sets them on the road towards turning their research concepts into marketable products.
First prize was awarded to Ian Curry, a consultant transplant surgeon at NHS Lothian and honorary senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. He has devised a potentially life-saving invention to help improve the success of liver transplant surgery.
Second prize was shared between Fern Sinclair, a PhD candidate from the School of Chemistry, and Justin Barclay, an MSc student from the School of Biological Sciences.
Fern has developed a rehabilitation tool to help patients recovering from stroke. Justin has come up with a new way of killing spores from Clostridium difficile bacteria, which he hopes will help to stop the superbug from spreading in hospitals.
This is the fourth year that Edinburgh BioQuarter has run the competition and we continue to be impressed by the number of ideas and the level of innovation shown by all entrants. This year’s calibre of entries has been very high.
Two projects from Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre were selected as highly commended entries. Dr Arran Turnbull from the Breast Cancer Research team has devised a test to identify breast cancer patients who are most likely to respond to treatment. He hopes the test will help to make sure that women have access to the treatment that is most appropriate for their cancer.
PhD student Craig Fraser has discovered a new class of drugs that could be used to treat breast cancer, which he believes could have fewer side effects than existing treatments.
The winning entries will receive advice on intellectual property and business development from the Bioquarter Commercialisation team and a panel of external experts in addition to the prize money.
The annual innovation competition is only open to staff at NHS Lothian and staff and postgraduate students at the University of Edinburgh. Entrants are encouraged to share their ideas for the improvement of human or animal health with the chance to win up to £30,000.