Two PhD students from Edinburgh who have developed medical devices for rehearsing keyhole surgery and other surgical techniques are among the award winners being revealed at the Scottish Institute for Enterprise Summit taking place in Glasgow today to encourage and inspire students at university to start their own businesses.
Paul Brennan (33) and Roland Partridge (34) who are in their third year of their PhD at the University of Edinburgh will be declared winners of the 2012 Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) New Ventures competition, in recognition of their outstanding business innovation.
Earlier this year, the pair set up EoSurgical to produce accessible and affordable training equipment, designed by surgeons for the global surgical community. Mr Partridge, who is a paediatric surgeon at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh has designed two medical devices: an EoSim which enables surgeons to practice essential keyhole techniques; and an EoSo which enables medical professionals, including nurses, vets,dentists, and chiropodists, to master suturing and knot tying skills.
Explaining the benefits, Dr Brennan, who works as a registrar and clinical lecturer in neurosurgery at the Western General in Edinburgh said, “The only way to get better at such techniques is by regular practice.
These devices, which are no bigger than a medium size box, have all the tools and sutures included and a small camera inside which can be connected to any computer. The simulators contain everything that’s required so you can plug and play without the need for expensive 3d computer interface technology. Theadditional advantages of these particular devices as compared to others on the market, are they are affordable, they are portable and most importantly, you can practise as often as required, in a risk free environment.” They will be presented with a £1000 cash prize and up to £5000 in-kind business support to further develop their business.
Winner of the 2012 SIE New Ideas competition is 32 year old Guy Westoby from Glasgow , who is currently undertaking research in preparation for his masters in counselling at the University of Strathclyde. Mr Westoby previously worked for the Royal Navy as a warfare officer and left in 2008 to clear cluster bombs and landmines in Georgia for the NGO. In his post conflict support work, he increasingly found himself talking to people about their own experiences and decided to enrol on a counselling course at Strathclyde University.
His award is in recognition of his outstanding business idea, which is to help service personnel make the transition from military to civilian life when they leave the forces. Westoby’s business idea focuses on the emotional and physiological needs of the individuals and aims to provide a 24 hour helpline for those seeking support. He will be presented with a £500 cash prize and receive up to £1000 in-kind business support.
Mr Brian Baillie, an academic tutor at Edinburgh University and Company Formation Executive at Launch.ed, received the 2012 SIE Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year for his outstanding contribution to student enterprise.
Two final year students shared the 2012 SIE Intern of the Year award. Jan Toner (21) at Glasgow University and Mhairi Naismith (24) at Edinburgh College of Art were recognised for their outstanding contributions on campus and their commitment to promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship to fellow students.
The 2012 SIE Awards are an integral part of the SIE’s annual Enterprise Summit, which brings together hundreds of students from Scotland’s 19 universities who are interested in starting their own businesses.
Leading entrepreneurs have been invited to share their own experiences with the students attending the conference today, including the chairman and chief executive of Clyde Blowers Capital, Jim McColl OBE; Mel Young, president and chief executive of the Homeless World Cup and co-founder of The Big Issue in Scotland; David Bunton, co-founder of Biopta; Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, founder of Genius Foods; and Gregor Lawson, co-founder of Morphsuits.
Commenting on the day, SIE chief executive, Fiona Godsman said, “It’s a fantastic day for the students, which brings together inspirational speakers, challenging activities, and provides the opportunity to recognise not only some of the great work that is taking place to encourage enterprise in our universities, but the entrepreneurial talent that is emerging as a result.”