Research Innovation Enterprise

Academic innovation shines through in Converge 2022 shortlist

  • Converge has published its 2022 shortlist which has seen an increase in innovative projects focusing on sustainability, AI, and healthcare.
  • There has also been growth in the diversity of this year’s shortlist with more BAME, disabled and non-British participants than ever before.
  • Converge has also announced a new partnership with Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) with one Biotech project in the running for a prize package at the awards ceremony in November.

Converge, Scotland’s largest company creation and enterprise programme for the university sector, has published its most innovative shortlist for the 2022 programme.

Over 200 applications have been whittled down to 101 shortlisted projects across four ‘challenge’ categories – Converge, Create Change, Net Zero and KickStart, with all 18 Scottish universities represented in the final cut.

Sustainability, AI, and engineering are key themes that shine through from this year’s shortlist, as well as several health-related projects that could directly benefit social care, mobility, and chronic disease management. Projects with the potential for global impact include Converge Challenge semi-finalist, Podspectrix Ltd, a joint project from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. Using AI to detect and prevent diabetic foot ulcers – one of the main causes of limb amputations in the UK, this project has the potential to reduce life-altering complications for patients, as well as reducing pressure on the NHS.

Meanwhile, a Net Zero semi-finalist, SolSafe from Robert Gordon University, has developed a smart thermal battery, a green gamechanger for the energy industry as it can replace both fossil-fuel boilers and supplement heat-pump systems.

Projects in the Creative Industries are strongly represented this year including Storybuild, a semi-finalist in the Create Change category, developing a webapp to enable users to co-create literary works, making the writing process more interactive and less solitary.

There have also been many ingenious and original ideas in the KickStart Challenge, an early-stage category designed to help academic entrepreneurs at the very first stages of the commercialisation journey. One such project is Empatech, from Queen Margaret University, which is developing reusable wearable devices that simulate different physical impairments associated with neuro-disabilities.

The 2022 cohort is the most diverse in Converge’s 11-year history, with 24% of projects from the BAME community.  In addition, 10% of participants identify as disabled, as well as 42% non-British participants.

Claudia Cavalluzzo, executive director at Converge, said: “I am continually amazed by the high quality of innovation emerging from Scottish universities, and this year is no different. I believe that this will be one of the most competitive years to date. The diversity and inclusivity of this year’s shortlist is particularly encouraging, with more participants from the BAME community and those with disabilities making it into the cohort. While parity across all areas remains some way off from being achieved, our efforts to extend the appeal of Converge to a broader and more diverse audience is working.

“I am also particularly inspired to see more of the current university population coming forward with interesting and new concepts and projects to make a difference in the world that we live in. Collaboration and ideation within higher education have been undeniably challenged over recent years, however, as we welcome a high proportion of submissions from students this year, this trend has been bucked and is stronger than ever.”

Converge has also announced a new partnership with the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), one of Scotland’s seven innovation centres, which will award a package of support to one successful Biotech project. This includes a free membership to IBioIC, a dedicated IBioIC account manager and £20,000 in project funding for the university where the project originated.

Semi-finalists will now move on to attend in-depth training sessions over the coming months, culminating in an award ceremony on 3 November 2022, where the cream of this year’s projects vie for a slice of the £300,000+ prize pot to advance their businesses.

Converge has supported 500+ entrepreneurs and the creation of more than 300+ companies since it launched in 2011. For more information about Converge, please visit:

Full list of semi-finalists

Converge Challenge
Project  Name University
B05Lab Thasshwin Mathanial Aberdeen
CanCan Diagnostics Maciej Parys Edinburgh
Danu Robotics Xiaoyan Ma Edinburgh
DeepQA Thomas Cartwright Edinburgh
Eye to the Future Emanuele Trucco Dundee
Kaiba Daniele Marini Strathclyde
Lightwater Sensors Ross Gillanders St Andrews
Mercel Mark Dorris Edinburgh Napier
Morphic Technology Jeremy Viner Edinburgh
NeogeniCo James Cantley Dundee
PlusPEP Robert Goodfellow Edinburgh Napier
Podspectrix Ltd Marija Vella Heriot-Watt
Prozymi BioLabs Ltd Ioannis Stasinopoulos Edinburgh
QURECA Araceli Venegas-Gomez Strathclyde
RHAPSEDA Helge Dorfmueller Dundee
Rigpa Ltd Mike Xiaoyu Huang Edinburgh
SolOLED Tomas Matulaitis St Andrews
Theo Health Jodie Sinclair Dundee
TrueDeploy Pavlos Papadopoulos Edinburgh Napier
X-Genix Ltd Rebecca Goss St Andrews
Create Change Challenge
Project Name University
Argyle IT & Education Nigeria Opeyemi Ibukun Heriot-Watt
DELIRIA Nathalie Nijk Glasgow School of Art
Everybodycounts Ltd Andrew Ridgway Robert Gordon
Eyesight Electronics Ltd Amin Rigi Edinburgh
FussEat Morven Summers Queen Margaret
Help the Dog Fly Marta Negro Edinburgh Napier
I am Dynamic Clare Daly Strathclyde
InGear Publishing Helen Gorilla Dundee
Knit One Ltd Jeni Allison Glasgow School of Art
LU Innovations Ltd Erin Reid Edinburgh Napier
Metacarpal Fergal Mackie Strathclyde
Plantala Ltd Natalia Kerr Robert Gordon
Set Ready Safety Lisa Kelly Glasgow
Shivoh Shivoh Chirayil Nandakumar Heriot-Watt
Sioda Alexandra McKenna Stirling
Smartbooks Simone Jensen St Andrews
STAT SALUS CIC Cameron Campbell Strathclyde
Storybuild Ltd Vinyet Miró Pujadas Robert Gordon
The Grey Hill Barry Robertson Robert Gordon
Two Raccoons Lasse Rasmussen Aberdeen
Net Zero Challenge
Project Name University
Agrecalc Kaia Waxenberg Scotland’s Rural College Jonathan Feldstein Edinburgh
Field to Fabric Rosemary Bristow Heriot-Watt
Robocean Ltd Niall McGrath Edinburgh
Scrapp Evan Gwynne Davies Heriot-Watt
SolSafe Andrew Mcleod Robert Gordon
SymBIOsis Jemma Reynolds Robert Gordon
TWEFDA Ltd Javier Dominguez Robert Gordon
Water Electronics Amin Rigi Edinburgh
Zephyrus Aerolabs Ltd Christopher Solomon Aberdeen
KickStart Challenge
Project Name University
3D Scotland Ltd Michael O’Donnell Glasgow School of Art
AIMEL Ltd Youcef Ahmanache Robert Gordon
Airspection Matthew McLean Strathclyde
Alena Rogozhkina Alena Rogozhkina Stirling
Alison Wells Alison Wells Royal Conservatoire
Altra ERC Ltd Jack Walker Edinburgh
AllSteady Ryan Anderson Dundee
Amytis Ltd Eva Steele Edinburgh
Atomic Architects Aidan Campbell Heriot-Watt
Aura Benjamin Noar Glasgow School of Art
Blue House Len De Nys Stirling
Cameron Foy Cameron Foy Stirling
CereSol Louis Marie Heriot-Watt
CEXAL Matteo Cese Edinburgh
CherryPIQ Jonathan Brady Strathclyde
CoBAlt Robin Pflughaupt Dundee
Concinnity Genetics Jessica Birt Edinburgh
Creative Foresight Solutions Frank Yntema Heriot-Watt
Criterion Robotics Marvin Wright Strathclyde Chamath Palihawadana Robert Gordon
Empatech Duncan Pentland Queen Margaret
Hannah Blackburn-Turner Hannah Blackburn-Turner West of Scotland
Hua Wang Hua Wang Glasgow
Iain Quinn Iain Quinn Strathclyde
Inclusive Studio Nick Fitzpatrick Dundee
Intelligent Learning Solutions Diane Duguid Robert Gordon
Jane O’Neill Jane O’Neill Heriot-Watt
Localize Mert Zorlu Glasgow
Lusan Rachel Post Edinburgh
Mude Underwear Kat Pohorecka Edinburgh Napier
NextChain Gauthier Collas Edinburgh
Next Generation Ball Mills Emmanouil Broumidis Heriot-Watt
Nikolas Coles Nikolas Coles Strathclyde
Ocean Punks Maria Isabel Ayala Gragera Robert Gordon
Olivia Dovernor Olivia Dovernor St Andrews
Onboard ID Kai Jun Eer Edinburgh
Online TR@D Marie-Anne N’Guessan Assanvo Stirling
Person Centred Solutions Roma Gibb Highlands & Islands
Ph.I.T Sara Marshall Queen Margaret
Quas Drinks Anton Puzorjov Edinburgh
Royal Helix Gizela Banana Aberdeen
School Link Moustapha Diaby Abertay
SAMASTAR Ltd Asma Abdullah Edinburgh
SensiBile Sofia Ferreira-Gonzalez Edinburgh
Sensory Soul Joyce Watt Robert Gordon
Steer Analytics Angela Lum-neh Stirling
TheFitGrip Ltd Stephen Armit Glasgow Caledonian
Unitic Ltd Prathamesh Deshmukh Glasgow Caledonian
Vertical Forest CIC Kimia Witte Glasgow School of Art
Werk Out Gregor Weir Glasgow
Wojciech Mista Wojciech Mista Glasgow

About Converge

Converge is Scotland’s largest company creation programme for staff, students and recent graduates of all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes.

Converge’s mission is to help the next generation of innovators, creators and ground breakers turn their ideas into commercially viable businesses to improve lives, safeguard our planet and help Scotland’s economy thrive.

Funded by the Scottish Funding Council, Creative Scotland, all 18 of Scotland’s universities, and a network of ten professional partners, the programme is designed to springboard new businesses through intensive training, networking, 1-2-1 support, generous equity-free cash prizes and expert advice from a roster of industry partners.

Since launching in 2011, Converge has trained 500+ academic entrepreneurs and supported the creation of 300+ companies that enjoy an unusually high survival rate of over 80%.

For further information, visit or follow @ConvergeC.