open for business

Highlights from the heart of an expanding Campus

Roslin Innovation Centre opened for business in August 2017 and three years on, our 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. 

As at August 2020, our occupancy was over 75% and we have accommodated 31 tenant companies ranging from established local and multinational organisations, start-ups and spin-outs, to charities and University business units. 

We are pleased to say that our tenants have all risen to the challenges of 2020 with their innovative energy and entrepreneurial spirit, with several companies working collaboratively on COVID-19 related projects, gaining recognition for individual and company achievements and success in funding and investment taking them to the next levels of business growth and a brighter future in 2021 and beyond.

Highlights - year 4

Rhizocore Technologies, develop novel propagation techniques for culturing mycorrhizal fungi used to improve growth and resilience of young trees for commercial and ecosystem restoration efforts.

The applied mycology start-up will be hosted at Roslin Innovation Centre, recruited as part of the Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) programme in association with Deep Science Ventures. 

The company's unique approach for growing locally-sourced mycorrhizal fungi ensures local adaptability to suit customer sites and needs whether it is for woodland restoration, commercial productivity, increasing tolerance to environmental stresses or capturing more carbon.

 Salmon, aquaculture theme of Midlothian Science Zone Business Forum with guest speaker Ross Houston, Roslin Institute
Aquaculture is our fastest growing farmed food sector, and was the focus of the recent Midlothian Science Zone Business Forum webinar with guest speaker Ross Houston,  Personal Chair of Aquaculture Genetics and Deputy Director for Translation and Commercialisation at the Roslin Institute. 

Read some of the highlights from this presentation,  the latest research, developments, facilities and opportunities in the zone and more about the challenges and importance of this sector as a contributor to food security.

MSZ Business Forum takes place every two months. Save the date for 12th October with Ishani Malhotra, CEO and Founder of  Carcinotech Ltd,  who will share her entrepreneurial journey, challenges and achievements.
 Gary Loake, chief executive and founder of Green Bioactives  - Inspire Launch Grow Image credit Callum Bennetts
Green Bioactives, a plant bio-technology start-up based at Roslin Innovation Centre, secured two new international contracts to supply its biochemicals to a US chemical company and a Chinese pharmaceuticals manufacturer.  

Green Bioactives opened at the beginning of the pandemic and is gearing up to launch its first consumer product later this year. The company will supply its biochemicals - derived from plant materials which are key ingredients in a variety of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

After recently receiving regulatory approval, Green Bioactives is also targeting the launch of a memory-enhancing supplement - commonly referred to as nootropics - in the autumn. Made from natural plant molecules, it will be the only clinically-trialled product of its kind.

Ingenza moving in to lab space at Roslin Innovation Centre in 2018 - image Ingenza Ltd
Team Ingenza celebrated their 3rd Anniversary at Roslin Innovation Centre - one of our first tenant companies when we opened the doors to business. Over their time in residence, the leading biotechnology company celebrated many achievements and have many happy memories.

Ingenza Ltd specialise in the design, development and manufacture of diverse high-value industrial products and therapeutic-proteins. To find out more, take a look at the ADVANCED BY NATURE® vlog series launched this month. 

The first episode features Rita Cruz, Molecular Biology Team Leader talking about Bacillus subtilis and protein production capabilities.  Watch Ingenza Vlog - YouTube
EIE21 Easter Bush Campus Innovation Pavilion designed and hosted by Roslin Innovation Centre
Roslin Innovation Centre hosted the Easter Bush Campus Innovation Pavilion at EIE 2021 - Engage Invest Exploit - on 10 June. EIE is the premier technology investor showcase featuring the most promising innovative, data-driven high growth companies, seeking funding from seed to series A.

It was an exciting opportunity to showcase our facilities, expertise, tenant companies and meet our team on this unique virtual platform. Delegates could hold one to one video meetings, chat online and browse the display areas to find out more about our innovative tenant companies and the Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) programme.

Highlight of the day for many was watching the pitching companies seeking investment and this year's cohort included Roslin Innovation Centre tenant Beta Bugs Ltd.
Members of Ingenza Ltd in their bespoke work space at Roslin Innovation Centre
Roslin Innovation Centre tenant companies receive recognition and support for their innovative research.

Ingenza has received support for its Unleashing Putida: Biobased Methacrylates for a Sustainable Future with a grant from Innovate UK and Eureka. The collaboration project aims to accelerate commercialisation of P. putida bio-manufacturing pipeline as a viable alternative to fossil fuel-derived plastics. Read article 

Roslin Technologies is highlighted as a 'futurecorn' in new research by Dealroom - a global database of promising companies - and the Digital Economy Council, underlining the growing strength of Scotland’s broader digital technology sector. Read article

A3 Scotland 2022 transition to net zero conference countdown graphic - credit A3 Scotland
In search for new therapeutic approaches to inflammatory reactions in acute liver injury, N2 Pharmaceuticals, developers of N2-01, support research featured in their first 
Frontiers in Pharmacology published paper in collaboration with University of Edinburgh. 

View Research Paper: Protective Role of Mytilus edulis Hydrolysate in Lipopolysaccharide-Galactosamine Acute Liver Injury.

Carcinotech has joined Repositive, global cancer model network, featuring the company's bespoke 3D printed tumour models in the cancer model directory. Repositive’s growing portfolio further optimising the level of service to researchers working in the preclinical oncology space. Read article

A3 Scotland 2022 transition to net zero conference countdown graphic - credit A3 Scotland
The 20th BioDundee International Conference took place virtually on Wednesday 12th May and was on the theme “Life Sciences and Healthcare: Key Sectors for Economic Recovery” featuring speakers from academia, business and government across different sessions.

John Mackenzie, CEO, Roslin Innovation Centre chaired the afternoon panel session on Animal Health, Agritech and Aquaculture, highlighting opportunities of AAA in Scotland for growth and the importance of R&D investment to contribute in the tackling disease.

John was joined by sector supporters and experts from Edinburgh Innovations, SRUC, Intelligent Growth Solutions and Institute of Global Food Security, Queen's University Belfast.
A3 Scotland 2022 transition to net zero conference countdown graphic - credit A3 Scotland
With 12 months to go, A3 Scotland launched the countdown campaign for Scotland's inaugural, premier event for Animal Health, Agritech and Aquaculture, in Edinburgh on 26 & 27 April 2022. 

The conference sessions will be held in Edinburgh First venue, John McIntyre Centre with a grand gala dinner at the Signet Library. Optional tours pre and post conference are also available with a tour of Easter Bush Campus and to AAA related venues and facilities in Central Scotland and Highlands.

The theme of the conference is ‘transition to net zero’ and aims to bring together industry, investors and policymakers from around the world to discuss strategic partnerships and discover the latest R&D.

Wildflowers on Easter Bush Campus - credit Roslin Innovation Centre
Welcome to Beebytes, a social enterprise specialising in honey bee genetics and DNA analyses to characterise genetic admixture and identify the sources of forage visited by honey bees, bumblebees and solitary bees. 

The expert team are already part of Campus life with research work based at Roslin Institute, apiary management at Easter Bush Campus and King's Buildings and key roles in Midlothian Beekeepers Association and Scottish Beekeepers’ Association.

Midlothian Science Zone has also been recognised for its wildflower-rich habitats of benefit to bees, butterflies and other wildlife and is now on the B-Line - a series of 'insect pathways' running through our countryside and towns, mapped by Buglife, an organisation devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates. Read News Article  
Highland Cow in field, Ardsheal, Scottish Highlands - credit Roslin Innovation Centre
VisitScotland Business Events has launched a new campaign 'Why Scotland' to highlight the important role of Business Events in the ever-evolving journey of change for a better world. Many journeys begin in Scotland, this is where minds meet and business communities connect.

As part of this campaign, VisitScotland interviewed John Mackenzie, CEO, Roslin Innovation Centre and Dr Lawrence Brown, Vet, Consultant and Innovation Manager for Health at Edinburgh Innovations, who have combined forces to create Scotland's first event, A3 Scotland, dedicated to the Animal Health, Agritech, and Aquaculture (AAA) sectors.

Scotland is the platform to enable change and address global solutions. Find out how you can start your Journey To Change.

Roslin Innovation Centre exterior with Canter statue and spring daffodils - credit Roslin Innovation Centre
A £74m investment for a new virtual agritech hub on Easter Bush Campus has been made possible as part of the City Region Deal initiative.

Hub experts will use data to develop genetics and health innovations for agricultural science and business, and to build initiatives and novel systems of production, such as robotics. 

Work in innovative areas, such as data-driven breeding and aquaculture, will enable data generation and analysis that will improve the efficiency and output of agricultural applications, and enhance worldwide food security, working towards net zero carbon in the agritech sector, and to inform food and environmental policies. Read full article.
Engage Invest Exploit - EIE 2021 logo
The cohort for EiE2021(Engage Invest Exploit) has been announced featuring 32 of the most promising innovative, data-driven high growth companies in various categories, seeking funding from seed to series A.

A new 'Wildcard' category has been introduced for 2021 and includes Roslin Innovation Centre tenant Beta Bugs Ltd. The entrepreneurial company develop and distribute high-performance breeds of Black Soldier Fly for the 'insects as feed' industry.

EiE is the premier technology investor showcase takes place on 10th June (virtual) and will feature data-driven, high-growth technology companies, with an incredible line up of fantastic speakers. 
Registration now open. 
Dr Thomas Farrugia, Beta Bugs Ltd outside LARIF on Easter Bush Campus
Beta Bugs Ltd, a start-up based at Roslin Innovation Centre, has expanded their team and launched a new insect breeding facility at on Easter Bush Campus.

Founded by entrepreneur and PhD graduate, Dr Thomas Farrugia, the company is at the forefront of driving a sustainable bio economy in Scotland, developing and distributing high-performance insect breeds as a source of protein for animal feed.

Thomas joined Deep Science Ventures, our FAST Programme partner, where he researched how environmentally friendly and versatile insect-based products could be and how they could provide a different source of protein and potentially change the feeding habits of livestock and fish farms.

AccelerateHER Awards 2021 Finalists announcement
The  AccelerateHER Awards 2021 for female business founders announced its semi-finalists and this includes two of Roslin Innovation Centre's young entrepreneurs. Ishani Malhotra, MD and Founder of Carcinotech Ltd and Kate Cameron, CEO and Founder of Cytochroma Ltd will be pitching in the MedTech and Science category.

The awards are designed to accelerate the growth, visibility and backing of female-led companies. They are open to ambitious women who play a leading role in companies with strong global growth potential, providing participants with an ideal platform to connect with AccelerateHER’s network of door openers, experts and business angels.

The semi-finalists will pitch their businesses to a panel of highly experienced judges online and a shortlist will then progress to this year’s virtual final on Thursday, 25 March.
Keep Calm and Canter On merchandise branded for Roslin Innovation Centre
Whilst we missed out on the usual festivities in December such as our annual themed Christmas Quiz, Blue Banana gatherings, the Dick Vet pantomime and Campus Christmas raffle, we did want to thank our tenant companies for their continued patience and efforts in managing work challenges during the coronavirus restrictions. 

We have all faced difficult circumstances over recent months. Health and wellbeing is important so we wanted to share an inspirational message to 'Keep Calm and Canter On'. 

Personalised printed water bottles and coasters were distributed safely by Santa's elves (Holly Hazel and Jolly Jess) to tenant staff as a festive gift and to help keep staff hydrated and happy in 2021. 

Scotsman Life Sciences Conference 2020 - panel discussion team on Animal Health, Agritech, Aquaculture
Debating 'The Future of the Life Sciences Sector'. Leading experts and senior healthcare leaders from across Scotland and the UK gathered virtually on 3rd December for Scotland's annual Life Sciences Conference 2020, to share insight into how the sector’s response to Covid-19 is accelerating innovation and giving rise to emerging technologies.

Opening keynotes were followed by Panel Discussions and Subsector Strategy Panel Discussions including Animal Health, Agritech and Aquaculture - chaired by Roslin Innovation Centre's CEO, John Mackenzie, with hot desk tenant Dr Lawrence Brown (DIT Scotland), together with Simon Docherty (Institute of Global Food Security, Queen’s University Belfast) and Karen O'Hanlon (The Data Lab) and Heather Jones (Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre).
Scotsman Life Sciences Conference 2020 - panel discussion team on Animal Health, Agritech, Aquaculture
The Scotsman interviewed Jacqui Matthews, Chief Technology Officer of Roslin Technologies, who leads on strategic partnerships and manages the research and development programme focusing on bringing scientific innovations to the agri and animal health sectors. 

Bridging the gap between academia, commercialisation and investment, Roslin Technologies is a joint venture between The University of Edinburgh, Roslin Institute and two investment and business development partners.

Open for business during the Covid-19 crisis. "We went back into the laboratory as quickly as we could but obviously we've had to introduce protocols about hygiene and social distancing – we feel we’re in safe hands at our HQ in the wonderful Roslin Innovation Centre!"

Read The Big Interview as published in The Scotsman, 29 November 2020

Emma McCallum, Project Co-ordinator Midlothian Science Zone

Midlothian Science Zone has appointed Emma McCallum in the role of project co-ordinator, to increase engagement and collaboration within the Midlothian business community and beyond, raising awareness to the opportunities of this centre of excellence for animal health, research and science focused business the region presents.

Emma McCallum took up role in October 2020, based at Roslin Innovation Centre, and will work with the project's Steering Group to deliver on the key objectives of their Business Plan: to stimulate economic growth within the region's science and research sector; promote the diversity, prestige, quality and capability of Midlothian Science Zone and to attract more companies, particularly those with a One Health focus and open to collaboration.
Dr Ian Fotheringham, Managing Director and founder of Ingenza Ltd

Congratulations to our tenants, Thomas Farrugia CEO and founder of Beta Bugs Ltd and Ishani Malhotra founder and Managing Director of Carcinotech Ltd, both joining this development programme for talented, innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs.

The business founders joining Unlocking Ambition this year have been specifically chosen for their potential to contribute to Scotland’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and Scotland’s journey towards a net zero economy.

View full list of entrepreneurs Unlocking Ambition

Dr Ian Fotheringham, Managing Director and founder of Ingenza Ltd

Many congratulations to Dr Ian Fotheringham, Managing Director and founder of Ingenza Ltd, who has been awarded an MBE for services to Industrial Biotechnology in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. 

This accolade recognises Ian’s position as a well-known industrial biotechnology expert. He originally gained extensive industrial experience within the Monsanto group based in the United States before founding Ingenza, the UK’s leading synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology company in 2003, 

The company is based at Roslin Innovation Centre and has grown organically, working across diverse sectors from fuels to biopharmaceuticals, as a result of its innovative technology platforms.

Clean Water Wave and Pure Water International Clean Aqua for Everyone (CAFE) filtration systems - tenant company at Roslin Innovation Centre

This month we welcomed two companies working together to deliver bespoke water treatment technology with Clean Aqua For Everyone (CAFE) filtration systems.

Clean Water Wave blend advanced technology with robust engineering, to transform polluted ground and surface water into clean water, safe for consumption and discharge. A social enterprise, passionate about the environment with profits going to support low income communities with water issues, and research into oceanic pollution and climate change through the Global Oceanic Environmental Survey (GOES).

Pure Water International is a new innovative Scottish start-up providing safe, clean, sustainable, decentralised water packages. The team of highly experienced design, fabrication and installation professionals have extensive experience overseas, particularly in African markets. 

"There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic certainly made 2020/21 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 your positivity and collegiality as we continue to work together to address the challenges posed by COVID-19 during these uncertain times."

John Mackenzie, CEO, Roslin Innovation Centre