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Highlights from the heart of an expanding Campus

The new gateway to Easter Bush Campus, Roslin Innovation Centre, opened to tenants and visitors at the end of August 2017.

This development is the midway point of the Campus Masterplan 2025 with already over £140 million invested, out of about £250 million ear-marked for the project.

HIGHLIGHTS - year one

photo of Roslin Innovation Centre with a view over Easter Bush Campus to the Pentlands  - copyright University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh Estates department has been shortlisted in six categories in the Education Buildings Scotland Awards. 

The shortlist includes the Charnock Bradley Building, the new gateway to Easter Bush Campus, in the category 'Innovation in Delivering a Sustainable Education Facility', which accommodates  both Roslin Innovation Centre and the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre. 

Winners will be announced at the Education Building Scotland Exhibition Conference Awards Dinner, celebrating excellence and achievement in the industry, taking place on 21st November at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh.

photo of the exterior of Roslin Innovation Centre, Easter Bush Campus with Canter horse statue in foreground - credit Roslin Innovation Centre

Our CEO, John Mackenzie, took part in a Q & A interview with Convention Edinburgh, as part  of the Scotland's Legends campaign, a national digital campaign focusing on Scotland's 12 key industry sectors.

Edinburgh and the Lothians was in the Life Sciences spotlight from 13 to 17 August, showcasing the region’s strengths with a particular focus on human health, animal health and agriculture.

John provided an insight into the role of the new business gateway on Easter Bush Campus for Scotland's life sciences sector.  
photo of Ingenza staff working lab at Roslin Innovation Centre with a view over Easter Bush Campus

On 20th of July we welcomed Ingenza Ltd, one of the largest teams to take up residence at Roslin Innovation Centre, occupying 11,000 sq ft on the top floor.

Our customised, state-of-the-art office and lab facilities are ideal for the company to expand its customer base to incorporate bio-based chemicals, agrochemicals and biopharma sectors.

Ingenza formed in 2003, a spin-out of The University of Edinburgh, initially based in King's Buildings then moving to Roslin BioCentre in 2006. The company has adapted and diversified over the years and currently has a team of over 40. The relocation is a significant milestone for the company and reflects ambitious growth plans.

photo of Thomas Farrugia of Beta Bugs presenting at RSE Unlocking Ambition Challenge - image credit Royal Society of Edinburgh

Thomas Farrugia of Beta Bugs, a company optimising insects for industry, is a new RSE Unlocking Ambition Enterprise Fellow and will be hosted by Roslin Innovation Centre.

The RSE Enterprise Fellowship programme invests in high-potential entrepreneurs, hosted by a number of Scottish Universities or Research Institutes, led by the RSE and the SE programme - a scaling development programme for 20 successful SMEs led by Scottish Enterprise.

The programme forms part of the £4m Unlocking Ambition Challenge delivered by key stakeholders from Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as part of the Scotland CAN DO initiative, backed by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

photo of David Venables, Synpromics CEO holding award and pictured with Jeremy Vine and Mike Timmins Leader of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in Scotland - image credit EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018

Many congratulations to David Venables, CEO of Synpromics Ltd, on winning the ‘Disruptor’ category at EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Scotland. The company has raised in excess of £7m since 2015, moved to new facilities at Roslin Innovation Centre to accommodate the growing number of staff, and opened operations in the U.S.

Synpromics is a leader in gene control, improving human health by enabling safer, more effective cell and gene medicines through proprietary genomics, bioinformatics and intelligent data-driven design. PromPT®, its multi-dimensional bioinformatics database, enables product-specific promoter design and selection which empowers the next generation of cell and gene-based medicines and bioprocessing applications.

photo of Big data delegates reception in atrium of Charnock Bradley Building - image credit Roslin Innovation Centre

The committee of the Big Data in Agriculture hosted a symposium at The Roslin Institute for a collaborative conference focusing on the use of large scale data resources for agricultural solutions.

Plant, animal and biostatistics researchers gathered for two intense days of plant, animal, and data science with a packed programme of speakers and poster presentations.

Delegates were welcomed to a networking reception, hosted by Roslin Innovation Centre to view posters and enjoy some refreshments on a beautiful evening at the Campus.

photo of HRH Princess Royal with CEO John Mackenzie meeting with Ingenza at Roslin Innovation Centre

On 1st of May 2018, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, took time to meet with each of our tenant companies following a tour of new facilities on Easter Bush Campus, including the expanded equine hospital and public outreach centre.

After a speech to over 170 guests gathered in the atrium space of the Campus hub, the new gateway was officially named the Charnock Bradley Building, after the former Principal of the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College. 

HRH The Princess Royal also unveiled a new sculpture of a horse's head by Andy Scott, the creator of The Kelpies.

photo of Jaymin Amin, COO Ingenza and John Mackenzie CEO Roslin Innovation Centre shaking hands inside the building - image credit Norrie Russell, UoE

A warm welcome to Ingenza Ltd, one of the most dynamic European industrial biotech companies and a leader in this growing sector with a broad customer base across the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, feed and fuel industries. 

Their work in the development of alternative sustainable resources is crucially important for the ongoing production of many products in our modern world and relocation will allow the company to expand its customer base to incorporate bio-based chemicals, agrochemicals and biopharma sectors.

Our state-of the art facilities have been customised for Ingenza, a cornerstone tenant of the Roslin Innovation Centre, and the company will occupy 11,000 sq ft on the top floor. 

photo of horse sculpture outside Roslin Innovation Centre on Easter Bush Campus - image credit Roslin Innovation Centre

The arrival of a horse on the Easter Bush Campus has drawn a lot of attention over the last few weeks.

The 15 foot steel sculpture of a horse’s head is by, Andy Scott, the creator of The Kelpies, and forms the centre piece of the landscaped entrance plaza to the new Campus Hub for staff and students - which includes a gym and a public outreach centre.

The sculpture will be officially unveiled in May and the name announced.

Made in Scotland Award Finalist graphic

Congratulations to Synpromics on being shortlisted for the 'Life Sciences Company of the Year' award at Made in Scotland Awards. Synpromics is one of the UK’s most innovative companies working in gene medicine and is a tenant at Roslin Innovation Centre.

Since 2016, Scottish Business Insider and the University of Strathclyde's Advanced Forming Research Centre have annually awarded companies and individuals that make, invent and innovate in Scotland. Finalists will be will be announced at a ceremony at Glasgow's Science Centre on April 26th.

Scientist and pupils participating in EBSOC workshop - credit Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC), with support from The University of Edinburgh Campus staff and students, introduced Castleview Primary School P6A and B pupils to the fun and excitement of science.

The project, part of a collaboration with the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Little France, involved three full-day workshops and a tour of Langhill farm. The feedback from teachers and pupils has been positive. 

Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre is a purpose built teaching lab located on the ground floor of the Centre building.

Photo of the Centre Building displaying exhibitions stands for Roslin Innovation Centre tenant showcase

We hosted a 'Tenant Showcase' in the Centre Building exhibition area for a week from 12th February. 

Campus staff were invited anytime between 12 noon and 2pm each day to meet with some of our new residents including AbacusBio Limited, ARK Genomics Ltd, Edinburgh Genomics, Greengage Enlightened Farming, Ingenza Ltd, Kajeka Limited, Landcatch Natural Selection, MV Diagnostics, Roslin Technologies and Synpromics Ltd. 

Refreshments were enjoyed over good conversation and introductions. 

Photo of Bill Gates and Secretary of State Penny Mordaunt on stage at Roslin Innovation Centre - credit Roslin Innovation Centre

Bill Gates and Secretary of State Penny Mordaunt visited the Easter Bush Campus to discuss efforts to address challenges around livestock health and productivity.   

The visit included the showcasing of work on improving livestock production in Africa; announcement of a £4 million boost from the UK Government; celebrated UK Innovation for Agricultural Development and launch of The University of Edinburgh’s Global Academy of Agriculture and Food SecurityRead full article.

A discussion event with staff and students took place in the Centre building and highlighted how UK innovations are improving the prosperity of farmers in developing countries.

Photo of Kajeka Ltd team in office space at Roslin Innovation Centre - credit Roslin Innovation Centre

MV Diagnostics Ltd were one of the first companies to secure office space with us in our first few weeks of opening. We now welcome the research and development company onsite. 

MV Diagnostics aim to deliver innovative technical solutions to diagnostic problems. They supply high quality veterinary ELISA kits and recombinant proteins/peptides to provide outstanding diagnostic performance for your laboratory. 

Photo of Kajeka Ltd team in office space at Roslin Innovation Centre - credit Roslin Innovation Centre

Data visualisation specialists, Kajeka Ltd, joined us initially at our 'pop up incubator' in February 2015 and we were pleased to officially welcome the team in to their new office space at Roslin Innovation Centre.

Pioneers in making complex data visually engaging, we're sure the team will be inspired by the views across the Easter Bush Campus to the Pentlands. 

Photo of Roslin Innovation Centre exhibition stand at Life Science Conference

Roslin Innovation Centre participated in the recent Life Science conference 'Accelerating growth, driving innovation' and in the Life Sciences Series, published by The Scotsman.

The Life Sciences Strategy, launched in February, aims to harness the outstanding achievements of the sector and to create a blueprint to take it through to 2025.  This event gathered main industry players  to help draw up an action plan to move Scotland’s 2017 Life Sciences Strategy forward. 

Our attendance and exhibition display provided us with an opportunity to network with industry colleagues and provide an update of developments at Roslin Innovation Centre. 

Photo of front cover of UKSPA Breakthrough magazines - credit Roslin Innovation Centre

The Winter 2017 issue of UKSPA's Breakthrough Magazine features an article by Roslin Innovation Centre's CEO, John Mackenzie, introducing the new development as an environment for growth.

The opening of Roslin Innovation Centre in August 2017 offers genuine opportunities for leading innovation companies to be part of an integrated and collaborative community and is ideally placed to allow for the natural development of business collaborators, with laboratory and office space situated close to science and clinical livestock expertise.

Read the full article in the online edition of Breakthrough or request a hard copy from

Make It Edinburgh video

From penicillin to the word's first cloned mammal, we are pleased to have contributed to Convention Edinburgh's new campaign 'Make It Edinburgh', celebrating Scotland's capital as a centre of excellence, innovation and heritage.

Raising its global profile as the business tourism destination of choice for meeting and event planners, Make it Edinburgh encourages conference organisers to bring their event to a world leading knowledge hub.

Watch the video to spot Dolly, The Roslin Institute and more...

Photo of participants in a workshop in the teaching lab at the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre

The Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC) is a new purpose built teaching lab located in the Campus Hub. 

EBSOC welcomed visitors to its first event, inviting young scientists to a free DNA workshop where everyone had fun experimenting in the new labs and making DNA lockets.

The event took place during the annual Easter Bush Campus Open Day and as well as viewing some of the Campus buildings, there was a programme of activities and opportunities to engage with scientists, vets, staff and students. 

Photo of Easter Bush Gym at Roslin Innovation Centre and Campus Hub

The University of Edinburgh Sport & Exercise’s first "Satellite Gym" opened at the Campus Hub.

The Easter Bush Gym features a range of state-of-the-art equipment including Treadmills, Cross Trainers, Adaptive Motion Trainers, Spin Bikes, Cable and free weights, Functional Training Pods, Half Box Racks, a range of Functional/Studio Equipment and more. 

Open weekdays only, membership is available to University of Edinburgh students and staff and Roslin Innovation Centre Tenants. 

Photo of Synpromics in open plan offices at Roslin Innovation Centre

Synpromics Ltd, the leader in gene control and synthetic promoter development, moved in to their new customised open plan office and lab facilities at Roslin Innovation Centre. 

Synpromics is expanding rapidly to meet increasing global demand for its cutting-edge gene control technology, growing its team by over 100% in recent years.

The company recently won ‘Best Emerging UK Synthetic Biotech Company' at the 9th Annual OBN Awards and was listed as one of seven prominent players in the UK’s thriving synthetic biology sector  by SynbiCITE, the UK’s national centre for the commercialisation of synthetic biology.

The first tenant to occupy Roslin Innovation Centre is Roslin Technologies, a new agriculture biotechnology company that has been established as the commercialisation arm of The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

Pictured after signing lease are Glen Illing, CEO of Roslin Technologies (left) with John Mackenzie, CEO of Roslin Innovation Centre.

Sir Ed Southern, inventor of the Southern blot, met with Professor Appolinaire Djikeng, Director of Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health to be briefed on their recent interactions through BecA in Kenya.

The visit was follow by a tour of the Easter Bush Campus and an opportunity for Sir Southern to learn more about The Roslin Institute, R(D)SVS, Roslin Innovation Centre and other initiatives.

Pictured from left to right: Dina DuYue (PhD student - The Roslin Institute), Sir Ed Southern, John Mackenzie (CEO - Roslin Innovation Centre), Nicola Mawson (Under Graduate - Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies), Professor Appolinaire Djikeng (Director of CTLGH), Chandana Basu (Post Doc - The Roslin Institute) and seated, Lady Southern.

In this short video interview, John Mackenzie, Chief Executive Officer of Roslin Innovation Centre, explains why Midlothian is a great place to base your business. 

Video produced by Borders Railway.

“We offer a fantastic infrastructure and innovation environment for companies to locate here and engage with science."

John Mackenzie, CEO, Roslin Innovation Centre