High growth start-up companies and university spinout projects will receive grants to help them grow in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Part of a £3 million package of support, the funding provides grants of up to £50,000 for 41 high growth potential start-ups and up to £130,000 for 16 spinout projects. It also includes bespoke support to help the businesses develop.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“Start-up and spinout companies, many of which are in the technology, digital and low carbon sectors, are the future of our economy. They are driven by the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. Crucially, they are the kind of enterprises that create high-quality jobs, and which attract investment into Scotland – both of which will be vital to successfully rebuilding the economy after the damage caused by COVID-19.

“By supporting start-up companies and spinout projects through this funding we can not only help them survive, but give them the potential to prosper. This is a key part of our long-term mission to create new jobs, good jobs and green jobs.”

Researchers at University of Strathclyde were awarded £70,000 for innovative cyber-security deception solution, Lupovis. The project uses artificial intelligence to lure hackers away and prevent breaches of network systems.

The team is in the process of creating a Strathclyde spinout company to commercialise the system focussing on critical infrastructures, starting with the energy sector as an initial market as a way of protecting energy supplies.

Professor Ivan Andonovic from Strathclyde, who will be a director of the spinout company, added: “There are currently no similar solutions, as decoys are usually static and once a decoy is exploited by a cyber-criminal, they can continue moving towards valuable assets in the network. Lupovis offers a dynamic system turning networks from a flock of sheep to a pack of predators.”

The additional funding will allow researchers to continue driving forward their plan to successfully commercialise the solution.