The Get Set Yeti app is in development, themed around a clan of yeti characters, that allows younger children to understand their emotions, through discovering ‘emotion beasties’, enabling difficult concepts to be put across in an age accessible and engaging way.
Get Set Yeti is a Digital Education business, that specialises in using storytelling and character-based learning to make Growth Mindset accessible to younger children at school and at home. They aim to level the ‘educational playing field’ by helping children from all walks of life develop the skills to become confident, resilient learners. They also provide materials for parents to build their confidence and capacity to do the things at home that have an impact on creating solid school foundations in Early Literacy and Early Numeracy.
Get Set Yeti supports educators and parents to help children develop learning resilience and confidence through building a growth mindset, and through emotional literacy. They offer a range of programmes and resources themed around a clan of yeti characters.
The company came into existence through recognition of a need in the field and has been developed by its founder Carol Arnott. An experienced practitioner both in Primary and Community Education, Carol employed Growth Mindset techniques initially to develop a rhyming story to help local families struggling with learning confidence. The story of “The Yeti’s Roar” was born, developed into a book which grew into a learning programme that was successfully trialled in several local schools and nurseries in the Dundee area.
Developing the programme became a passion of Carol’s and with the help of Business Gateway and the Elevator Business Accelerator, where Carol was introduced to Interface, her business began and demand quickly developed to the stage of looking to grow the team and expand into other cities – then Covid hit. Unable to get into schools due to closures and distancing regulations and with other contracts put on hold it became apparent that digital learning was the way forward. A new site was built and ‘Get Set Yeti’ evolved and grew.
Get Set Yeti was created to provide Growth Mindset resources for children under 8 due to the lack of material available. In the educational climate, there was a growing need for children to learn to be more resilient in learning and it was widely recognised that learning to develop a ‘Growth Mindset’ could successfully meet this need.
Get Set Yeti was interested in developing an app or platform that could help young children understand and process emotions using Growth Mindset to help maintain positive mental health.
Through the Accelerator in Dundee, Carol met Lorna Watson of Interface who identified University of Dundee’s Dr Michael Crabb (School of Science and Engineering) and Dr Alexia Barrable (School of Education and Social Work) who had the required academic expertise to develop an app that could help younger children develop emotional literacy and self-regulation. This initial project was taken forward with a £5000 Standard Innovation Voucher.
The team at the University of Dundee helped initialise ‘The Yeti Field Guide to Feelings’ app to help children develop emotional literacy, supported by parents and educators.
Based on the premise that deep in the forest on top of Yeti Mountain the yetis sometimes come across ‘Emotion Beasties’ that have escaped from children in the villages below. Once caught, the yetis learn how to look after them using their special book ‘The Yeti Field Guide to Feelings’. They learn that caring for feelings takes practise and learn techniques to manage them through online interaction and additional printable activities and resources.
The app will incorporate:
- Simple gameplay to capture the engagement of the user.
- Diagnostic tool Information on emotions.
- A range of resources and tools to reinforce and support, designed by appropriate mental health experts.
This innovation sits right at the heart of Get Set Yeti’s core strategy as it uses process design to help children and families understand difficult concepts and gives them the tools to develop skills to learn successfully using Growth Mindset techniques.
- Get Set Yeti created a collaborative co-design programme for children and are in the process of securing funding to create the app with all the necessary building blocks in place.
- Get Set Yeti have developed an ongoing partnership with the University of Dundee and are able to provide opportunities for current students and graduates.
- Further opportunities to connect to the School of Education, CLD and Social Work during the testing phase of the app, along with the Department of Science and Engineering.
The Next Steps
Get Set Yeti have transitioned through the restrictions brought about by Covid19, transforming from a localised, face-to-face delivery company to an online-learning portal with international potential.
Following on from this initial project the relationship between Interface and Get Set Yeti has continued to grow and there have been several more successful student projects/placements for a range of things from marketing to behavioural analysis as follows:
Due the restrictions brought about through Covid19 Get Set Yeti pivoted to produce a digital version of their material and with the help of Abertay University the company developed a digital marketing strategy to promote their digital offering and transform from a localised business to offer their products nationally and develop a marketing campaign to appeal to local authorities, head teachers, infant teachers and parents.
A successful student placement project with the University of West of Scotland helped Get Set Yeti achieve a targeted marketing campaign appealing to potential clients and partners; utilising social media and other appropriate available channels.
The University of Stirling undertook some behavioural analysis to help Get Set Yeti understand and develop customer personas to allow them to enter new markets and target their future campaigns for maximum impact.
University of Highlands and Islands students are currently working directly with the Musical Director and CEO to help devise a digital marketing and social media campaign to promote an album of original ‘Yeti Songs’ to enhance the delivery of Growth Mindset learning to younger children and their families.
Brian McCormack is a former coal miner turned inventor on a mission to improve cancer detection rates while helping the environment at the same time.
His company, McCormack Innovation Ltd, was initially set up to address the low return rates of bowel or colorectal cancer screening programmes worldwide where most return or compliance rates around a disappointing 50%. Harnessing soluble material as a solution and working in partnership with Smartsolve Industries based in Ohio, USA, the business has identified an ideal material to be used in stool sample collection that can then be harmlessly flushed away.
From their further research with similar “soluble” material, the idea to create an easily removed wound dressing came about. McCormack Innovation has patented an application for the FlushAway™ “soluble” wounds dressing. Using water dispersible material, these dressings can be used for burns units and patients with other ultrasensitive skin conditions like Epidermolysis Bullosa.
There are presently many types of wound dressings on the market, even those described for use on sensitive skin. However, none of the current range of products include a wound dressing that is secure enough to complete the task yet can easily and painlessly be removed by showering or spraying with water. The FlushAway™ wound dressing addresses both these needs.
The business was looking to engage with academia to have the base material dermatologically tested and developed accordingly for market entry.
After being referred by Business Gateway in Fife, Interface was able to match the company with Professor Robert Keatch and Dr Jan Vorstius at the University of Dundee to undergo the following:
- Dermatological testing, highlighting any modifications required
- Ongoing development of the product for market entry
- Determining the appropriateness of the material and suggesting any improvements.
Specialist facilities at the University, along with access to clinicians and medical staff, were used for testing the biomaterials for use in the wound dressing.
In a product report, Professor Keatch and Dr Vorstius said: “All materials under test performed well, keeping their integrity and structure until exposed to water.
“The proposal to use this material as a secondary wound dressing would therefore be viable, providing the outer dressing can be kept dry until removal is required.
“This method would certainly reduce trauma inflicted during bandage removal and retain all the features of the conventional cotton and crepe bandages used.”
The technical results from this project should help inform the further optimisation of the material for use in a number of medical applications. When ready for production, these innovative products will transform the market and bring about significant clinical improvements and patent relief at the point of care.
The company has been nominated for a large number of innovation awards, both nationally and internationally, and has been approached by some large biomedical companies interested in licensing the technology.
Whisky making is a long established industry normally associated with the distilleries spread around the Highlands of Scotland, but a local entrepreneur in Dumfries & Galloway has set his sights on breathing fresh life into a distillery which was last in use nearly 90 years ago.
David Thomson and his wife purchased the long-derelict Annandale Distillery based in Lowlands, near Dumfries, which first opened in the 1830’s and remained at the forefront of lowland whisky production until it closed in 1919. Now, almost 90 years later, a newly formed Annandale Distillery Company Limited is a step closer to restoring the historic distillery buildings to its former glory with its new whisky brand and an integral online visitor ‘experience’.
The Business Challenge
Financial assistance secured from Historic Scotland and The Scottish Government through a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant initially helped to get the project off the ground, but of prime importance to David was academic help to undertake historical research pertaining to the locale of the distillery and the culture of its area. This would involve delving into areas such as the evolution and history of the lowland Scots language and emigration patterns from the region.
All this research was central to the brand ethos that he plans to develop and is also important in the context of developing a memorable online visitor experience.
Understanding David’s ‘day job’ was key to sourcing the level of high quality research he required. He is founder and CEO of MMR Research, one of Europe’s largest, independent consumer research businesses. Additionally, he is visiting Professor in the Department of Food Biosciences at University of Reading, UK, where key interests include sensory branding and the development of understanding consumers’ choice behavior.
With his knowledge, David identified Interface – The knowledge connection for business, as an excellent source to tap into, partly because the team can access academics with key knowledge pertinent to his project and partly because in David’s own words ‘as well as the quality of whisky, it is important that the brand has some meaning and value’.
Interface rapidly understood and immediately grasped the key elements of David’s requirement and arranged collaboration with three academics specialising in quite distinct areas that would support his aims. The key was to convey much of the evolution and history of the lowland Scots language and written in a style which, in David’s words, had to be light and witty, but also comprehensive and credible, with the scope to offer further enhancement and development.
Interface put him in touch with renowned linguist, John Corbett, Professor of Applied Language Studies at the University of Glasgow with specialism in Scots language studies. Professor Corbett wrote on the development of the Lowland Scots language and used the language to add descriptions of historical whisky and whisky-related events.
Interface also brokered collaboration with Dr Billy Kenefick, a lecturer in modern Scottish and British history at the University of Dundee, who looked at the history of the area and its migration patterns to other regions throughout the world. This is of particular importance to David, since the Single Malt Lowland Scotch whisky produced at the Annandale Distillery will be sold globally (either through the website or an international network of drinks distributors) and he has identified that a key target will be consumers around the world with Scots heritage and ancestry.
By populating the website with historical facts and figures around the history of emigrant Scots, these consumers could relate to their forefathers migration to the colonies such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and South Africa. Indeed, the migration from the borders was of special significance, since David’s home town of Annan was a significant emigration port in the 1700s and 1800s, either offering direct sailings to the colonies or as a ‘feeder service’ to larger vessels bound from Liverpool.
The third academic Interface brokered a partnership for was through Dr Malcolm Lochead, a fellow in design, based at Glasgow Caledonian University who contributed to the initial ideas on brand design and development and is designing a signature plaid for the distillery.
“I am so grateful to Interface for bringing together this resource of extraordinary academic talent. Each project has its own challenges and the information and research has been pivotal to keeping the developmental phase on track. I was intrigued to see if the academic teams were up to the demands of the task, and so far I have been very impressed. Trying to lay my hands on all this information myself, would have taken me a significant amount of time, but the Interface team pulled out all the stops to surpass my expectations.”
With a reputation spanning over 100 years, East Kilbride based Mentholatum are a recognised leader in the sale of Topical Pain Relief products.
The Business Challenge
Looking to diversify into the skincare market the company had developed a new range of skincare cosmetic products based on novel ingredients for the treatment of acne. Requiring academic analysis to be carried out on their range before they could be taken to market, the company was referred to Interface by Scottish Enterprise. They needed to gauge performance and efficacy in the key areas of:
- reduction in skin redness
- control of sebum production
- anti-bacterial properties
- promotion of clear skin
Following a full search of the academic base in Scotland, Interface introduced the company to Dr Richard Weller at the University of Edinburgh, who had relevant industry experience.
Leading the eight week clinical protocol study on the OXY range, Dr Weller conducted a full analysis report and published a white paper on the results, both of which have proven invaluable to Metholatum.
As Colin Brown, Director of Research and Quality Development at the company explains:
The introduction from Interface to the University of Edinburgh has been invaluable for the launch of our Oxy range for the spot prone skin market. The increased credibility we have received from working with the University and with Dr Weller has also improved our opportunities to gain increased market share in the healthcare/personal care market.
The collaboration was also beneficial to the University in terms of highlighting the scope of their research to the wider business world, as Dr Weller comments:
The Mentholatum consultancy work has been very successful. We conducted a full clinical trial of its anti-spot products. To date, this work has gained considerable interest in two major British dermatology journals, and I suspect it will gain additional favourable media attention.
Creating Sustained Relationships
So successful has this collaboration been that Mentholatum see the partnership of University and business as filled with potential for future projects. Colin explains further:
This initial introduction has opened many doors within the University and also the wider Scottish academic network. We envisage this partnership with the University of Edinburgh as being long term and see many mutual benefits from working together.
Since this initial project for their OXY skincare range, the company have funded a three year SUPA (Scottish Universities Physics Alliance) PhD studentship which investigated the application of Magnetic Resonance Elastography.
They have also sponsored a second PhD studentship through SINAPSE, a consortium of six of Scotland’s top universities’ medical imaging groups, including the University of Stirling and the University of Dundee.
This Scottish imaging network is at the forefront of research in the field of brain imaging.
Looking to the future, Mentholatum is now collaborating with the Department of Physics at the University of Edinburgh on a project which will support the measurement of the rheological properties of its products.