The Scottish Institute of Enterprise has launched a £200,000 patent fund for student start-up companies.
The SIE, which aims to instil an entrepreneurial spirit in science and engineering students, has appointed Scottish-based patent attorneys Murgitroyd & Company to manage the fund.
The firm's 40 staff will help to guide student entrepreneurs through the patenting process.
The fund is expected to help more than 100 student companies file initial patent applications over the next three years.
Carl Togneri, SIE's director, said the first candidates who stood to benefit from the fund were already lining up.
Last month, the SIE announced the winners of its national business plan competition, and a number of teams are likely to file provisional patent applications. This will give them a year to assess the technical and commercial viability of their products before making a complete patent application.
"We will work with start-up companies to help them develop not only the appropriate initial filing, but to identify what technical efforts will be required over the following year to strengthen the patent case," Ms Togneri said.
"SIE's partnership with Murgitroyd strongly positions SIE to support student ventures," she added.