Celebrating two years of research and innovation
Two years on, Roslin Innovation Centre is home to 23 tenants and hosts collaboration in animal sciences, agritech and One Health.
Roslin Innovation Centre (RIC) 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 £30 million hub - including a £5 million contribution by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - 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, celebrated its continued success in September, two years since opening its doors.
Tenants of RIC range from established local and multinational organisations, start-up or spin-out companies, to charities and University business units.
Collaboration with Roslin researchers
Recent successes include a collaboration between Roslin scientist Dr Gregor Gorjanc and RIC tenant and BetaBugs founder Dr Thomas Farrugia.
They received 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 campus staff prizes with a 'Tenant-staff collaboration award'.
To foster further collaboration, the annual RIC Tenant Showcase hosted at the Roslin Institute presents an opportunity to introduce and demonstrate the breadth of commercial operators on campus to Roslin scientists.
Continuous growth and profit
RIC’s anchor tenants continue to develop and advance. 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, RIC will welcome an additional four tenants: 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, a finalist in October’s Tesco Agri T-Jam at the World Agri-Tech Pitch Day, which is taking office space to progress the commercialisation of its technology in the UK market, and 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 RIC 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.
This surge in growth will have RIC 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, our RIC is already seeding new opportunities for fundamental research, translation and policy work.
RIC 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.
** The Roslin Institute receives strategic investment funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and it is part of the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. **