Celebrating two years of research and innovation

Published: 14 October 2019

Roslin Innovation Centre continues to flourish, and two years on it is home to 23 tenants and the location of choice for emerging companies in animal sciences, agritech and One Health.

Roslin Innovation Centre is proving to be a hotbed of growth, entrepreneurship and collaboration within the innovative environment of the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus.

The business gateway celebrated its continued success in September, two years since opening and this presented an occasion to recognise our growth in terms of occupancy, the diversity and capabilities of our tenants and also their achievements.

The £30 million hub - including a £5 million contribution by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) - offering flexible laboratory and office space to life science companies seeking to collaborate with experts at The Roslin Institute and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

Tenants of Roslin Innovation Centre range from established local and multinational organisations, start-up or spin-out companies, to charities and University business units.

Recent successes include a collaboration between Roslin scientist Dr Gregor Gorjanc and BetaBugs founder Dr Thomas Farrugia, a tenant company. BetaBugs Ltd is a recent recipient of a £500,000 Innovate UK grant to develop high performance Omega-3-rich black soldier fly (BSF) for use as animal and fish feed, by applying quantitative genetics expertise, infrastructure and breeding.

This joint award, which also includes Marks & Spencer in their list of collaborators, was also recognised at the annual Easter Bush Campus staff prizes in a new 'Tenant-Staff Collaboration' award category.

To foster further collaboration, the annual Roslin Innovation Centre Tenant Showcase was hosted at The Roslin Institute, presenting an opportunity to introduce and demonstrate the breadth of commercial operators on Campus to Roslin scientists and students.

Anchor tenants continue to develop and advance with Roslin Innovation Centre. Synpromics is now part of AskBio, combining pioneering technology to increase efficacy of gene therapeutics, and plans to expand its team and footprint in the coming months.

Before the end of the year, an additional four tenants will be welcomed on site:

  • Green Bioactives, a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Molecular Plant Science
  • Carcinotech, led by Ishani Malhorta, who was recently awarded Highly Commended Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Scottish Women’s Awards
  • N2 Applied, headquartered in Oslo, is taking office space to progress the commercialisation of its technology in the UK market
  • Food Chain Enterprises, a local environmental and one health consultancy enterprise which is seeking to develop its business engagement

"With more than £300,000 contribution to the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and Campus from Roslin Innovation Centre operations by July 2020, and more than £1 million turnover per year forecast within the following financial year, I am delighted that Roslin Innovation Centre will become a profit centre of the University of Edinburgh, after only three years of operation."

John Mackenzie, CEO at Roslin Innovation Centre

"This surge in growth will have Roslin Innovation Centre sitting at 75% occupancy with 23 tenant companies by the end of the year. The Roslin Innovation Centre is proving the location of choice in Scotland for emerging agritech companies - both local and international - reflecting John Mackenzie’s tireless effort to attract tenants. Although only 2 years of age, Roslin Innovation Centre is already seeding new opportunities for fundamental research, translation and policy work."

Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Roslin Innovation Centre Chairman and Deputy Director, The Roslin Institute

"Roslin Innovation Centre is a key aspect of our efforts towards developing a culture of entrepreneurship among our researchers, with John Mackenzie’s novel ‘research hotel’ offering an accessible opportunity for our scientists to test out their ideas in a commercial environment."

Professor Eleanor Riley, Director, The Roslin Institute

With little room left remaining at the ‘Inn’ at this growth rate, certainly a larger celebration cake will need to be ordered for this time next year!



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