Roslin Innovation Centre canters on

Thursday 7th January 2021, 12:30pm

Roslin Innovation Centre tenant companies have risen to the many challenges of 2020. We have selected some of the highlights over the last 12 months.

Screenshot of original article from Dick Vet News = credit University of Edinburgh

COVID-19 resilience, innovative energy and entrepreneurial spirit have continued to drive them through difficult circumstances. 

Companies have worked collaboratively on COVID-19 related projects, industry recognition has been awarded to our business leaders and companies, and a $4bn funding deal and investment success has been secured to take research & development to the next level.

Since Roslin Innovation Centre opened in August 2017, this unique business gateway continues to be a hotbed of growth, entrepreneurship and collaboration within the innovation environment of the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus.

Occupancy currently sits at over 75% with 31 tenant companies resident at RIC, ranging from established local and multinational organisations, start-ups and spin outs to charities, social enterprises and University business units. Although many tenant office staff are mainly based remotely, business operations have not stopped.

In April, Scotland's first Venture Studio was launched. The Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) is an agricultural company creation programme run in partnership between Deep Science Ventures and the Roslin Institute. Roslin Innovation Centre is playing an active role in recruitment and attracting entrepreneurial scientists to develop company concepts within the three identified ‘newco’ Opportunity Areas of Animal Aquaculture, Alternative Pollinators and Environment Agriculture.

Throughout the year, tenants have been royally recognised with Dr Ian Fotheringham, Managing Director and founder of Ingenza Ltd, awarded an MBE for services to Industrial Biotechnology in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Bayer, the pharma player, snapped up RIC tenant AskBio in a $2 billion cash deal to buy out one of the fast-moving pioneers in the field of new generation of cell and gene therapies, while adding up to $2 billion more in milestones.

Ambitious entrepreneurs Thomas Farrugia, CEO and founder of Beta Bugs Ltd, and Ishani Malhotra, founder and Managing Director of Carcinotech Ltd, were both selected for their potential to join the Unlocking Ambition development programme for talented, innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs.

Whilst some companies moved on, we have welcomed new tenants from food supply chain experts to water-based solutions. Food Chain Enterprises Ltd specialise in the various aspects of Agribusiness world-wide and provide global business consulting services and fully comprehensive support to integrated food production and manufacturing.

Clean Water Wave and Pure Water International are two companies already collaborating to deliver bespoke water treatment technology with Clean Aqua For Everyone (CAFE) filtration systems. Blending their talents as well as advanced technology with robust engineering, to provide safe, clean, sustainable, decentralised water packages.

Roslin Technologies embarked on a £50 million second round capital raise and brought us Vetsina Animal Diagnostics, a joint venture between Roslin Technologies and Destina Genomics. The company harnesses breakthrough diagnostic technologies that enable early diagnosis of illness and infection in companion animals and livestock.

"There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has certainly made 2020 a challenging year for all of us and required Roslin Innovation Centre to implement new ways of working and operating within our public areas, lab and office space for the safety of our staff, tenants and visitors. We would like to thank everyone for their positivity and collegiality as we continue to work together to address the challenges posed by COVID-19 and look forward to a brighter future in 2021 and beyond."

John Mackenzie, CEO, Roslin Innovation Centre

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Article prepared for, and published in The Dick Vet News Issue 32, pages 24-25.