Centre for Engineering Biology

OGI Bio secures £1m investment

OGI Bio, a University of Edinburgh start-up, is developing affordable and innovative solutions for the automation and analysis of microbial culturing


Co founded in 2020 by Dr Alex McVey (CEO) and Prof Teuta Pilizota (CSO), the company secured pre-seed investment from Apollo Informal Investments to revolutionise the way that microbes are grown and managed.

Its automated device automatically samples, analyses and adjust the microbes’ environment, helping improve processing capability, cost effectiveness and data analytics.

The investment was led by Tricapital, alongside Apollo Informal Investment, Old College Capital, Sapphire Capital Partners in conjunction with Queen’s University Belfast’s QUBIS Innovation Fund, Merleview Capital and Scottish Enterprise. 

The money will help OGI Bio establish a new laboratory and manufacturing facility, grow the team, and ramp up sales of the company’s automation systems to the microbiology and biotechnology sectors.


“Our aim is to ultimately have one of our devices on the bench of every microbiologist and biotechnologist, enabling them to innovate more productively, flexibly, and sustainably

Alex McVey CEO and co-founder


The journey

The research underpinning the development of this device arose from work carried out by Dr Alex McVey and Marijana Krivic as researchers at the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology, funded by the BBSRC and the Research Councils’ Synthetic Biology for Growth Programme. 

Earlier this year OGI Bio received a SMART Scotland grant via Scottish Enterprise, and additional funding from the Higgs Incubation Centre.

OGI Bio was named as semi-finalists for the coveted Converge Award and won an Innovative Company in the recent Scottish Edge IBioIC Awards. They were also one of the 40 companies to benefit from the Scottish Government/Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition Accelerator, which comes with an additional £25k of funding.


Related Links


UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology 

Press: High Growth Scotland

Press: Insider.co.uk

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