University of Edinburgh hails programme to foster data-driven entrepreneurship

The University of Edinburgh says it is driving data-driven entrepreneurship as part of the fightback against Covid with a publicly funded programme of business-boosting activities.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 7:00 am
Dr George Baxter deems the DDE Beacon Programme 'a fantastic opportunity for innovators and entrepreneurs'. Picture: Marlow Photographic.

The Data-Driven Entrepreneurship Beacon Programme, running until July, aims to engage existing businesses, catalyse new firms, and drive entrepreneurship among staff and students at the university.

Comprising 12 initiatives and involving a range of business partners, the programme has received funding from the Scottish Funding Council, via the Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) programme of the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal.

Initiatives include the Food and Agriculture Science Transformer, which will support academic researchers to turn their discoveries into business opportunities. The DDE Beacon Programme also includes funded placements of PhD students into companies, while 15 start-ups have been selected for the Post-Covid AI Accelerator.

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Edinburgh Innovations chief executive Dr George Baxter said: “The DDE Beacon Programme is a fantastic opportunity for innovators and entrepreneurs to gain practical support, advice and skills to help their ideas become thriving businesses.

“Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation is always essential but never more so than now as we emerge from the significant economic impact from the Covid pandemic.

“The benefits to society and our economy from the DDE Beacon Programme are immense; generating new and better services, meeting unmet needs and increasing employment.”

Professor Chris Speed is director of innovation at the Edinburgh Futures Institute, one of the university’s DDI Hubs. He said: “It’s exciting to be able to open new channels for Edinburgh’s exceptional creativity and support entrepreneurship at such an important time.”

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