Rising to the challenge of climate change

Published Tuesday, 28th May 2019 in SAC Consulting news

Alasdair Sykes says mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture is a global challenge
Alasdair Sykes says mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture is a global challenge

A climate change researcher at Scotland’s Rural College has reached the semi-finals of this year’s Converge Challenge.

Alasdair Sykes has been shortlisted for his submission to establish AgRE Calc as a new company.

Operated by SAC Consulting in conjunction with SRUC researchers, AgRE Calc is the most comprehensive calculator of carbon emissions available for UK farmers.

Alasdair is among 60 aspiring entrepreneurs from across Scotland through to the next stage of Converge, the country’s leading academic enterprise programme. 

Semi-finalists will now be invited to attend three days of intensive, hands-on, business training which has been designed specifically to best prepare academic entrepreneurs in both start-up and spin-out companies.

Alasdair said: “I’m very proud to have reached the next stage of the Converge Challenge. Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture is a global challenge, and one which becomes ever more pressing as the urgency of staying within the 2oC limit grows while ensuring the nutritional needs of a growing population are met.

“SRUC has been producing sector-leading research in this field for decades, and the AgRE Calc model has grown directly from that work. It has an invaluable role in both conducting research, and in bringing the fruits of that research to farmers and decision makers.

“Converge 2019 represents an important first step in taking the AgRE Calc model to the next level and allowing it perform an increasingly pivotal role in this fast-changing sector.”

In addition to the bespoke business training, Alasdair and his fellow semi-finalists will receive one-to-one coaching to help them master their ‘60-second pitch’. Semi-finalists in the Converge Challenge category will also take part in ‘Ready, Steady, Pitch’ – a live pitching competition attended by investors, the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Converge alumni and members of Scotland’s business community at Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios on 12 June. 

In the next phase of the programme, semi-finalists will submit a business plan with the very best ideas going forward to the Converge 2019 final at the V&A Dundee on 25 September.

Converge is a creation and entrepreneurship development programme for staff, students, and recent graduates of Scottish Universities and Research Institutes aimed at creating a new generation of entrepreneurs in Scotland. Find out more.

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