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Converge Challenge Open Innovation 2013


Converge Challenge Open Innovation is a trans-national initiative for university participants and was borne from a need to stimulate the collaborative process on a pan-European knowledge - share, innovation and ideas from a broad range of external sources. It is organised by Heriot Watt University.

The 2013 final was held in Edinburgh, on 20th November and two start - up companies, SACCADE Diagnostics (University of Aberdeen) and UXCam (University College, London) picked up awards for Best Open Innovation Business and Best Open Innovation Business Idea respectively, beating off teams of national and international entrepreneurs from five European countries in the final of Converge Challenge Open Innovation held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


 SACCADE’s technology which is looking to commercialise a pioneering eye movement test which helps identify specific disease states and UXCam, which allows user-experience designers (UX designers) to capture real-time data in real world scenarios, have been awarded four-figure cash prizes, both triumphing in an intense final against six other start-up businesses from the continent.

 The nominating organisations for  this year's event included University College London, Laval Technopole, France;  VOKA, Flanders' Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Belgium; Somerset City Council, University of Kassel, Germany ; National College of Ireland, Dublin ; IRSEEM/ESIGELEC, Rouen and the Converge Challenge. The business ideas were equally diverse, including a company addressing a novel and pioneering way of advertising on Facebook, and a software solution that processes 3D sensor data for stereoscopic Kinect sensors.

In both categories, companies were judged on on Innovation Level, Stage of Development, Market Opportunity and Use of Open Innovation.

 Cllr Frank Ross, Convener of Economy Committee, City of Edinburgh Council, a key supporter of the Open Innovation competition said: “This event provides an exciting opportunity to hear young entrepreneurs from several regions of Europe. To have them competing in Edinburgh for the best Open Innovation idea and business awards is inspiring. We are delighted to be lead partner in the Open Innovation Project.”

As we have made clear in our Strategy for Jobs, we must nurture entrepreneurial talent and this event is an exemplar project which complements the incubators projects already set up in the City. “

The event was covered by the Scotsman newspaper:

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