COVID-19 Update - 08 September 2020

University of Edinburgh

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Following on the success of last year’s competition, the Edinburgh Innovations student entrepreneurship team ran the 2019 Business Ideas Competition for Engineering Students and Graduates sponsored by Engineers in Business.

The Business Ideas Competition for Engineering Students and Graduates is run annually by the University’s commercialisation service, Edinburgh Innovations, and invites students to pitch their business ideas and win up to £1,000 to launch them. There are three divisions of the Business Ideas competition - general, engineering and social enterprise.

The Business Ideas Competition is open to current students and recent graduates. It allows students to present innovative ideas even if they are an early-stage business or social enterprise. The competition provides a fantastic opportunity to find out if the ideas proposed are commercially viable and to learn how to turn the business ideas into reality.
Winner: Vennle Team - Managing Director, Jack Noble (fourth year MEng Electrical and Mechanical Engineering) pictured receiving the certificate; Technical Director, Daniel Carbonell (BEng Electrical and Mechanical Engineering) and Machine Learning Engineer, Kornelija Sukyte (fourth year Cognitive Science BSc) - £500 Engineers in Business Prize.

The Vennle team is working on a ‘big data’ analytics platform aimed both at transport operators and users, which is designed to optimise public transport and help cities run more smoothly.

By analysing factors such as real-time traveller demand and vehicle availability, and nudging travellers towards less congested routes or vehicles, Vennle’s data platform seeks to optimise resources and connect travellers with more sustainable and socially beneficial forms of transport.

Using Mobility as a Service (MaaS) software, Vennle proposes to address the current ‘supply and demand’ problem in a vast and highly complex transport system characterised by the under-use of public transport and inefficient private car use, which lead to congested roads, air pollution and health problems.
Winner: Amblyopia Diagnosis and treatment headset, Amin Rigi (second year PhD candidate, School of Engineering, studying sensors and imaging systems), pictured left - £300 Engineers in Business Prize

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, prevents those diagnosed with the condition from developing normal vision. Amin Rigi and his team at Eyesight Electronics are developing a system to use a custom-built headset for early stage amblyopia which will allow streamlined diagnosis and treatment of the condition. The technology is currently at TRL 3 and they plan on developing a Minimum Viable Product in the coming months.
Winner: Application of Hyperloop Technology to Existing Rail Systems - Hamish Geddes(left) and Daniel Carbonell (right), Electrical and Mechanical Engineering course at the School of Engineering - £500 Engineers in Business Prize.

The innovation is a magnetic propulsion system similar to those found on Hyperloop pods. It is unique in that it can be retrofitted to existing locomotives and/or built-in to future designs. It would help alleviate the problem of train delays due to detritus on the rail lines. The technology is currently at TRL 2 and they have received an Innovation Voucher to build simulation models.