Monday, 20 October 2014

Innovators from Physics scoop lucrative start-up support

PhD research students Alexander Ward and Jack Barraclough, and postdoctoral researcher Dr Clifford Hicks, of the School of Physics and Astronomy, were recently awarded third place in the Converge Challenge 2014 for their company Razorbill Instruments. Converge Challenge is a national competition aimed at encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship amongst academics.

The technology behind the company, and for which they won the award, is a nanopositioner – a device which can move with minute detail, especially useful in the manufacturing of microchips, and in physics and biomedical research. As a prize for third place the partnership received a cash sum, as well as a range of business support from leading legal, financial and branding companies, to the tune of over £13,000.

Razorbill Instruments was one of 111 entrants from across Scotland to apply for the competition, undergoing a rigorous selection process including business plans, a number of pitches, and a Dragon’s Den style Q&A with a panel of judges. Alexander has also received a fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which will allow him to work on a prototype of the product. [press release]