Heriot Watt University – Innovation Assessment
What was the nature of Heriot Watts’ challenge?
The quality of research undertaken at UK Universities is judged via the Research Excellence Framework or REF system. Part of this assessment relies on impact case studies demostrating how the University research has made an impact in society. Heriot Watt University have numerous R&D projects at various stages across many departments and institutes. Innova Partnerships were contacted by one of the leading Institutes within Heriot Watt, The Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering, to assess all the research projects underway and select top tier projects and put forward potential commercialistion routes for each.
How did Innova Partnerships help?
Innova set up a working team to assess over 20 active research projects. This involved interviewing the leading Principle Investigators and their staff, undertaking desk research and assessment of projects against 5 criteria that Innova use to establish commercial value. The findings were reported to senior management along with recommendations for the top 3 projects to provide focus in achieving a commercial outcome. Innova then followed up with in depth planning and a recommendations as to how to progress the top three projects. The leading project was then actively supported by Innova Partnerships.
What was the outcome of our involvement?
The leading project secured initial funding in excess of £500k from Scottish Enterprise. This was used to prove the technology and build a quality senior management and enable a spin out company from the University to be formed. Horizon Proteins was spun out of the Univeristy and now has a team working to produce sustainable high quality protein products.