Bagpipe device and anti-drone technology among Scottish student enterprise winners

Student entrepreneurs from across Scotland have scooped cash prizes and secured expert support from leading advisers to scale up “innovative” business ideas which include carbon-neutral housing, a tool to prolong the life of pipers and anti-drone technology.

Daniel and Adam Jack of the University of Strathclyde won for their eco-friendly housing concept, which will be trialled in Arran.

The winners of the Fresh Ideas competition will share a £7,000 prize pot to develop their early-stage concepts.

From a pool of 15 finalists, Fresh Ideas crowned five ventures as its main victors, who each took home £1,200 in cash and will be granted access to ongoing expert business advisory support.

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These include Alt-Eco, an eco-friendly accommodation created from re-purposed shipping containers founded by Adam and Daniel Jack of the University of Strathclyde. The carbon-neutral structures rely on solar panels, hydroelectricity and responsible waste solutions and will be trialled at a site in Arran.

Alistair Lea and Shehan Heguragamage were victorious with Archilink, an online database to help architects connect with industry professionals.

Fellow winner Joe Gibson, a fourth-year student at Strathclyde, has designed an artificial intelligence-driven anti-drone technology to protect airspaces, while Alistair Lea and Shehan Heguragamage were victorious with Archilink, an online database to help architects connect with industry professionals in Scotland.

Robbie MacIssac’s Flux Blowpipe – a bespoke technology for the bagpipe that reduces the risk of a fatal lung disease and prolongs the lifespan of the instrument by absorbing moisture – also shared in the grand prize, as did Sean Fisher’s Bombina, a portable wood burning stove that could serve campers or disaster relief victims in emergency shelters.

Two additional winners were recognised in special awards categories – Food and Drink, and Social Impact – and each will receive £500 in cash and dedicated business support.

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The event, run by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE), is Scotland’s longest-running national student enterprise competition for early-stage ideas.

Fiona Godsman, chief executive of SIE, which is backed by the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Year on year, we see such a high calibre of ideas reach the final stage of our Fresh Ideas competition with this year being particularly strong.

“Scotland has one of the most ambitious entrepreneurial ecosystems and we’re proud to be able to give students and recent graduates a platform to develop their ideas and help recognise Scotland as a world leader in innovation. We’re looking forward to continuing to support the Fresh Ideas 2020 winners as they develop their innovative ideas.


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