A team of innovative anaesthetists from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh have scooped a £12,000 prize for their potentially ground-breaking invention to help intubate patients during surgery.

The winners of the 2013 innovation prize were: Dr Alistair Gibson, Dr Oliver Robinson and Dr Adam Paul for their work behind a device to improve the management of difficult airways in anaesthetised patients.

A total of £30,000 worth of funding was made available by Edinburgh BioQuarter in conjunction with their sponsors who include patent attorneys Marks & Clerk.

Dr Richard Gibbs, a European Patent Attorney at Marks & Clerk, commented:

"Being on the judging panel for this year’s awards has been quite a challenge because of the extremely high and enthusiastic level of entries this year.

"With £30,000 up for grabs BioQuarter offer prizes that can really help get a new product off the ground. Competitions like this also help emphasize the importance of securing proper protection for your intellectual property when launching any new product or business."

Dr Mike Capaldi, Commercialisation Director of the Edinburgh BioQuarter, continued:

"This is the third year that Edinburgh BioQuarter has run the competition and we continue to be impressed by the number of ideas and the level of innovation shown by all entrants.

"We have already seen novel products and companies reaching the market from previous years’ winners and I don’t expect this year to be any different. Once again, I believe this just goes to demonstrate the degree of entrepreneurship and innovation that exists in Scottish life sciences."

All winners received their prizes at an awards ceremony at the MacDonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh on 7th June. There were over 50 entries to the competition this year. The top five are:

5th place: Chris Gregory – Cleansing device for frozen cell therapy products

4th place: Rachel Thomas – Reducing hospital acquired infections

3rd place: Liita-Iyaloo Naukushu – Feminine Hygiene in sub-Saharan Africa

2nd place: Michael Eddleston – Improved treatment for thiamine deficiency

1st place: Alistair Gibson, Adam Paul and Oliver Robinson – Device to aid management of difficult airways in anesthetized patients

Now in its third year, the BioQuarter Innovation Competition is sponsored by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Economic Development Unit (principal sponsor) and by intellectual property attorneys Marks & Clerk LLP, law firm MBM Commercial LLP, and accountants and business advisors Springfords LLP.