Scottish Edge launches £1m awards round with edge of space stunt

Business funding contest Scottish Edge has sent a custom-designed trophy to the edge of space to launch its latest round.

Scottish Edge sent a custom-designed trophy to space to celebrate its Round 15 competition launch. Picture: contributed

Taking off from the outskirts of the Borders, the trophy reached a maximum altitude of more than 100,000 feet with the aid of a helium-filled weather balloon, and spent two hours in its near-space environment before landing in the Lammermuir Hills.

The move was timed to pay homage to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and represent the forward-thinking ideas that the competition aims to attract.

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Round 15 of Scottish Edge will offer awards of up to £150,000 from a collective prize pot of more than £1 million to successful applicants, with a focus on innovation and technological advances.

Scottish Edge chief executive Evelyn McDonald said: “With our ideals aligning so strongly with the current very topical issues of innovation, human achievement and exploration of the unknown, we chose to launch this latest round of Scottish Edge in a very literal sense. We’re delighted to have embarked on this journey to a place known only to a small number, the edge of space.

“We are confident that over the next six weeks we’ll see even more of the great out of this world thinking that we’ve now become accustomed to during our application phase. I wish everyone applying to Scottish Edge Round 15 the very best of luck and I can’t wait to help support the winners in achieving astronomical success.”

The trophy was designed by Glasgow School of Art student Corrie Grant and product design agency Fearsome, while pupils from Aileymill Primary School in Greenock contributed to the capsule construction as part of space exploration workshops run by the Stratonauts team.

Stratonauts co-founder Lewis Campbell said: “The mission was a fantastic opportunity to achieve several goals for both Scottish Edge and Stratonauts: to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and young future space explorers alike, to go one step further forward in making space exploration commonplace in society and to align the best of Scotland’s future businesses with the rapidly growing space sector in Scotland.”