A key Scottish government figure has heard first-hand about the University’s impressive track record in creating new businesses.
In a visit to the University’s Informatics forum, Mr Russell, the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, learned about the work of the Edinburgh Pre-Incubator Scheme (EPIS), which provides vital support for graduates with business ideas and has now formed its 50th company.
Mr Russell, a graduate of the University, met representatives from Angelfish Microfinance - the latest company to benefit from EPIS.
The new firm will provide lending opportunities for small businesses in Scotland.
Mr Russell and University Principal Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea were shown other technology developed by EPIS, including a spherical television globe developed by Pufferfish - another of the 50 companies that have received EPIS support.
The role that universities play in Scotland’s economy is crucial. This scheme proves that role goes beyond teaching and research. The talent and skills developed in universities must be captured and fully realised to the benefit of Scotland’s economy.
EPIS was established in 2003 by the University, with financial support from Scottish Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund, to promote and support innovation in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
The scheme, which is open to graduates from anywhere in the world, gives people with bright ideas for technology-based businesses the time and resources to bring their plans to market.
The University is very proud if its impressive track record in helping new business development. This landmark achievement shows that this support for innovation has real results, with direct benefits both for the companies concerned and for the wider Scottish economy.
The University continues to have an enormous impact on the Scottish and UK economies by continuing to develop new business initiatives through EPIS and through its research and commercialisation arm, Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI).
In the last financial year, a total of 26 companies were created through the University, half of which were through EPIS. This is the highest number of companies formed in one year by a Scottish university.
Other companies formed by EPIS include: