Beer, Robots, Compressors & Microwaves

Beer, Robots, Compressors & Microwaves

 26 Apr 2017

Scotland Is Leading The Way In Product Design & Innovation


Without innovation, it is hard for any business to survive.  Staying at the forefront of change means constant product innovation – a factor that explains why Scottish companies are proving highly successful.


“Scotland is brimming with talent and innovation,” comments Olly Dmitriev, CEO of Vert Rotors. It was this factor which encouraged his company to install the UK’s first ultra precision machinery for manufacture of micro compressors used in satellites and medical devices in Scotland. He continues, “With this game changing new technology, we look forward to further developing our innovative screw compressors, extend our range of products and grow our manufacturing facilities, creating new jobs for skilled workers as we do so.”


From food to robotics, Scottish companies are making their impact felt.  Kite Power Systems has recently secured £5m investment to support the development of pioneering high altitude wind power generation. It will be installing a 500KW onshore power system at West Fraugh in South West Scotland designed to create demonstration systems relating to new ways of generating power using kites to capture offshore wind energy.


Another innovative company with eyes on the sky is craft brewer, Innis & Gunn which has developed a beer known as Sky.P.A. using water harvested from clouds!  It has created a bespoke airborne system complete with turbine and condenser to suck moisture directly from clouds before transforming it into water.  The resultant beer is high in minerals that add extra flavour to the drink. 


To take yet another example, Robotical Ltd (owned by Dr Alexander Enoch of the University of Edinburgh) has devised a way to bring robots to the consumer market.  Robotical’s unique design has resulted in a robot that can walk and dance, or even programmed to play football.  Dr Enoch has achieved this by developing a 3D printed system.  This design halves the number of motors required for each of the robot’s legs, thus making it much cheaper to produce.  Furthermore, the robot can be controlled via a smartphone, wirelessly reprogrammed when necessary and can even be modified using new 3D printed parts to provide new limbs as needed. 


While over at Heriot Watt University, Dr Sam Chapman has designed breathable building blocks that reduce waste and C02 emissions within the construction sector.  His company Kenoteq uses traditional earth construction methods to make bricks that do not need firing, use no cement and contain 90% recycled materials.


The presence of such high quality is driven by Scotland's universities which is one of the main reasons why Scottish companies are proving to be so innovative. Scottish universities are accustomed to working closely with businesses.  According to the Food & Health Innovation Service (FHIS), Scottish universities work with 26,000 companies every year helping to turn new ideas into new products and services.  The Universities increased their contribution to the Scottish economy by 6.3% over the past year, making them the third largest industry in Scotland.


Equally, Scottish companies are quick to take advantage of the research being undertaken at the universities.  At the request of Advanced Microwave Technologies, Queen Margaret University undertook a feasibility study into the use of a revolutionary new food processing technology known as Microwave Volumetric Heating (MVH) into the pasturisation of fruit juice.  As a result, Get Juiced, a small company based in Stirling, became interested since its existing systems affected the taste of freshly squeezed orange juice.  Trialing the method revealed in an increase in shelf life to 28 days, without any effect on flavour or nutrition.  Investing in the new method caused Get Juiced to double their turnover and gain contracts from Aldi and Asda.


With results like this, it is no surprise that Scotland is proving to be a leader in innovation and design providing countless opportunities for creative engineers.




I hear you Drew - arguably Scotland is the world leader in some / the majority / maybe all of the mentioned categories. Maybe I am showing my age but is it not the case that Scotlands R&D teams across industry ran away hand in hand with significant manufacturing facilities and manufacturing capability? Refreshing to see we still have it surely?
Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 20:06 by Scott
Was it not everso?
Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 18:32 by Drew McGhie

Post Comment