Boost for innovators as Heriot-Watt University announces key senior appointment

Grant Wheeler, Head of Commercialisation at Heriot-Watt University

HERIOT-Watt University has today announced the appointment of Grant Wheeler as Head of Commercialisation, a key strategic role which aims to transform innovative academic research into business and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Grant will be responsible for delivering Heriot-Watt University’s enterprise ambitions and will work with academics, students and industry partners to translate research into new services, products and spin-out companies which aim to solve societal and industry challenges and add value to Scotland’s economy.

He brings more than two decades of experience in enterprise creation and technology commercialisation spanning a range of roles within the UK innovation ecosystem and has a proven track record in early-stage and scale-up company engagement, high-profile strategic projects and the development of impact-driven commercialisation opportunities. 

Chief Entrepreneurial Executive at Heriot-Watt University, David Richardson, said:

“At Heriot-Watt University, we’re turning ground-breaking research into practical applications and commercial outcomes that have real-world impact every single day. 

“This is being achieved through greater cohesion between academic research, business enterprise and entrepreneurial talent which, in turn, enables us to develop pioneering solutions to some of industry and society’s greatest challenges.

“Our state-of-the-art facilities including GRID, which aims to advance global research, innovation and discovery, are taking this approach to the next level by bringing together leading talent and the brightest minds to drive new innovation and support companies to scale.

“The opportunities in this field are as exciting as they are endless and Grant’s appointment will bolster our significant enterprise expertise. I look forward to seeing him further enhance our commercialisation programmes and continue to develop the abundance of entrepreneurial talent we have at Heriot-Watt University.”

Commenting on his appointment, Grant Wheeler said:

“Heriot-Watt University has a clear track record of translating cutting-edge research into successful spin-outs and scale-ups. Its industry-leading partnerships and commitment to supporting academic talent to pursue the commercial potential of their creative ideas sets it apart as a truly world-class institution.

“The breadth and quality of applied research coming out of the University coupled with its global outlook is something which I find hugely exciting. That’s why we’re continuing to actively grow and invest in our commercialisation team, allowing us to create even more opportunities for our academic talent and deliver future prosperity for Scotland’s industries and economy.”

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