open for business

Highlights from the heart of an expanding Campus

Roslin Innovation Centre opened for business in August 2017. Three years on, our unique business gateway is proving to be a hotbed of growth, entrepreneurship and collaboration within the innovative environment of the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus. 

Approaching our year end in August 2020, we have an occupancy of over 75% occupancy and have accommodated 31 tenant companies ranging from established local and multinational organisations, start-ups and spin-outs, to charities and University business units.

Highlights - year THREE

AskBio team outside Roslin Innovation Centre by Canter sculpture

Synpromics were one of our first tenant companies - and an anchor tenant - when Roslin innovation Centre opened in 2017 and continue to occupy lab and office space.

The company is now part of the AskBio family and this month celebrated their 10th anniversary as leaders in the design and development of synthetic promoters to control gene expression for safer, more accurate gene therapy.

Another milestone was making the 2020 Inc5000 list of fastest-growing private companies - ranked at 652. 

Vetsina Animal Diagnostics logo

Carcinotech, a life science start-up based at Roslin Innovation Centre, has partnered with Swedish firm CELLINK, expanding expertise in 3D bioink stem cell models to accelerate cancer research and drug discovery. 

Founder Ishani Malhotra's mission is to revolutionise cancer research through the use of bio printed stem cell microchips which can be used to test potential treatments for brain tumours and breast cancer. Carcinotech takes cancer cells from patients and replicates them with 95% accuracy.

This collaboration will extend the pharmaceutical development segment for CELLINK and advance the tools used for future cancer drug development processes.

Vetsina Animal Diagnostics logo

As Roslin Innovation Centre begins to welcome back tenants with easing of COVID-19 restrictions, we also welcome a new tenant company, Vetsina Animal Diagnostics Ltd, to lab and office space. 

The company harnesses breakthrough diagnostic technologies that enable early diagnosis of illness and infection in companion animals and livestock. 

Vetsina develops, and offers, the veterinary and animal health industries, innovative nucleic acid testing and molecular assay solutions, with particular emphasis on miRNA detection and quantification which are species specific biomarkers for toxicology and health issues.  

Vetsina is a joint venture between Roslin Technologies and Destina Genomics.

Roslin Innovation Centre exterior where Roslin Technologies office and lab space located

Roslin Technologies is a joint venture formed with University of Edinburgh, launched in 2017 with £10 million Series A funding, and one of Roslin Innovation Centre's first tenants.

This Series B £50 million capital raise will be invested in a wide range of cutting-edge agri-tech initiatives and build valuable relationships through the company's  growing number of portfolio companies. The investment round will be led by Milltrust International LLP and JBI Equity, two of the world’s leading AgTech advisors, and both founding investors in the company.

Roslin Technologies work closely with academics at Easter Bush Campus as well as offering a range of commercial service solutions that support sustainable farming.

Visit Scotland Business community words and Roslin Innovation Centre logo

#ScotlandWillWait is a new campaign by VisitScotland Business Events.  Scotland’s business and research community, stretching the length and breadth of Scotland and participated in a video recording messages that Scotland will wait to meet face to face to build a better tomorrow.  

 John Mackenzie, CEO of Roslin Innovation Centre was featured and shared this message: 

"Roslin Innovation Centre is waiting to welcome you back, to join us on our shared journey to pioneer and deliver a world-leading place for Animal Health, Agritech and Aquaculture business."

A3 Scotland 2021 logo - animal health, agritech, aquaculture

The inaugural A3 Scotland 2021 conference for the Animal Health, Agritech and Aquaculture (AAA) sectors has attracted a number of high level sponsors and features influential and expert speakers to encourage innovation, investment and collaboration. 

The Organising Committee for A3 Scotland made the difficult decision to postpone the event from October to April as a result of the difficulties and risks imposed by Covid-19 in hosting an international gathering built around face-to-face networking and site tours.

We therefore look forward to welcoming industry, investors, scientists and government officials from all over the world to Scotland in 2021 for a packed 2-day programme (21 & 22 April) that also offers an optional pre-conference tour day of Easter Bush Campus and others within Midlothian Science Zone.

Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) logo withaquaculture background

In an interview with Animal Pharm, John Mackenzie, CEO of Roslin Innovation Centre, described how the new Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) programme sees aquaculture as an "international growth area" and will invest in new companies that specialise in "regenerative aquaculture", by supporting the expansion of environmentally-friendly practices such as minimising the reliance on wild inputs for feed and supporting the further development of probiotics.

FAST partners will seek to launch several "high growth technology start-ups" by identifying global commercial and technology opportunities, as well as recruiting and training business founders. The new businesses will be geared towards addressing "neglected areas" in the relevant industries.

iLivestock smartphone app

The development team for iLivestock, an agritech product of Duradiamond Software at Roslin Innovation Centre, have worked closely with farmers to understand the unique challenges around farm data capture and provide frequent updates to the system to keep it fresh and up to date.

iLivestock iOS version 15.5, smartphone and tablet technology for the management of flocks and herds on the go has just been released and version 1.0 of iLivestock Android is also available from the Google Play store.

There have been 633 updates since the launch of iLivestock iOS back in 2013 - and this is the biggest yet with many new features. Find out what's new
Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) logo

Scotland's first venture builder has launched. Food & Agriculture Science Transformer (FAST) is an agricultural technology venture studio in partnership between Deep Science Ventures and the Roslin Institute. 

The programme will provide scientists with opportunities to research, design and then start their own science startups at the intersection of agriculture, food security and ecological sustainability - and get paid to do so.

Entrepreneurial scientists are being recruited to join, develop technology company concepts, and receive investment of up to £500,000 from Deep Science Ventures.

Censo Biotechnologies lab with lab worker viewing cells under microscope

Censo Biotechnologies has risen to the COVID-19 challenge and repurposed their drug discovery laboratories at Roslin Innovation Centre, together with colleagues at the Babraham Research Campus, to process a minimum of 500 diagnostic tests daily to support the NHS and NHS Scotland. 

The biotechnology company is also working to find drugs to treat coronavirus and are one of the first Scottish companies to joined the COVID-19 Volunteer Testing Network. They are offering free coronavirus testing for GPs and other front-line health care professionals who are at significant risk both personally and as potential super-spreaders to the vulnerable community, whether or not they have symptoms, with results available on the same day. Read more

For more information, please contact 
Cytochroma, Carcinotech and RIC team members producing hand sanitiser in Roslin Innovation Centre lab

From mini livers and toxicity testing, cutting edge cancer drug testing to virus busting hand gel. 

Kate Cameron of Cytochroma and Ishani Malhotra of Carcinotech got together in the lab to make some hand sanitiser, prepping to work through COVID-19 and continue with the focus of their research and business on saving lives.

Roslin Innovation Centre team's Jess Wood took time away from the office, donned a white coat and purple gloves to lend a hand. 

Food Chain Enterprises logo

Food Chain Enterprises Ltd has joined us in our open-plan office space. 

The company specialise in the various aspects of Agribusiness, Food Production, Food Manufacturing and the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) sector world-wide and provide global business consulting services and fully comprehensive support to integrated food production and manufacturing. 

Consultants understand today's food industry challenges and have the technical and business expertise, covering the full supply chain, to quickly bring performance improvements to optimise processes and business profitability. They look forward to collaborating with others on Campus. 
group photo of Roslin Innovation Centre team and Bayer Centre operations team at the Bayer Centre

The Roslin Innovation Centre team visited the esteemed Bayes Centre, a data-driven innovation hub located at the University’s of Edinburgh's Central campus. A tour facilitated by the Bayes operations team demonstrated how the building plays host to a wide audience, including public and private sector clients, University staff and students.
The centre itself specialises in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence and, as part of the Data Driven Innovation (DDI) initiative, is dedicated to advancing three sectors – Digital Technology; Space and Satellites; and, in collaboration with the National Robatarium, Robotics and Autonomous Systems.
The visit itself was a huge success, and has paved the way for future collaboration between Bayes and the Roslin Innovation Centre

photo of Jess Wood, Assistant Administrator and Tenant Liaison at office desk - Roslin Innovation Centre

Introducing Jess Wood, who has joined the Roslin Innovation Centre team in the role of Assistant Administrator and Tenant Liaison. 

Having previously worked for the University of Edinburgh’s Service Excellence Programme, Jess is well-placed to support the team and our tenants.
With a degree from Edinburgh College of Art and a background in design, Jess is keen to incorporate her knowledge and skillset into planning and delivering events throughout the year.

PigBoost project launch banner - Uganda

Scientists, farmers, technicians, veterinarians and business managers from Uganda, New Zealand and the UK will take part in PigBoost, a data-driven project that aims to address low average production and poor animal health - a common challenge among pig farmers in Uganda.

In the first phase, The Roslin Institute and AbacusBio are partnering with Ugandan-based organisations, funded by a £500,000 grant from the Global Challenges Research Fund.

At least 40,000 pigs will be fitted with electronic tags to store information about breed, size, birth rate, disease syndrome, weight, among other characteristics, generating accurate data that will be accessible through a smartphone application. 

Dr Timothy Byrne, Managing Director of AbacusBio International based at Roslin Innovation Centre, says the data on individual pigs will guide technicians to give targeted services to farmers.

Duradiamond Software logo

Roslin Innovation Centre welcomes innovative agritech company, Duradiamond Software, as their newest tenant. 

The company develops proprietary, farmer focused business and market intelligence solutions for domestic and international livestock markets. Core products are iLivestock and eWeigh, designed to allow farmers to be more efficient at a lower cost point.

The company has recently gone global after securing contracts in South Africa and Australia for their agricultural software that provides digital solutions to the farming sector.

Campus Christmas Raffle prizes and tickets

The annual Easter Bush Campus Christmas Reception took place on 19th December in the Atrium of the William Dick Building. 

As well as festive refreshments and entertainment by the Dick Vet Musicians, one of the highlights is the Christmas Charity Raffle. This year the raffle raised a total of £466.90 in support of Thornton Rose, Riding for the Disabled Group, Midlothian and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, protecting hedgehogs and an initiative that Easter Bush Campus is part of. 

A big thank you to everyone who purchased raffle tickets and also to those who donated a great selection of prizes.

Christmas jumper line up at Roslin Innovation Centre Christmas Quiz event

The theme for our annual Tenant’s Christmas Quiz was ‘Festive Foodies’. Teams were hungry for the challenge, with a record 19 teams and over 70 participants. Quiz Master John Gardner of Censo Biotechnology did a great job presenting the questions. 

So who was the signature dish and who got stuffed?! Winning team was'An Ocean of Knowledge, an Inch Deep' starring Kajeka Ltd and Cytochroma UK; top team name was 'The Pheasant Pluckers' aka Greengage Lighting and the wooden spooners were 'Away in a Merger', a Synpromics Ltd team. 

Breakfast rolls and refreshments fuelled the teams and many entered in to the festive spirit with an impressive line up of Christmas jumpers.

Students in the lab at Roslin Innovation Centre Research Hotel

Students of the Infectious Diseases and One Health (IDOH) Erasmus MSc programme and the MSc in Animal Biosciences were hosted at Roslin Innovation Centre’s ‘Research Hotel’ for a second year. The Research Hotel provides ready to use state-of-the art office and lab space with access to standard lab equipment and the 30 students, representing 20 countries, utilised bench space as well as tissue culture hoods and incubators. 

IDOH is a partnership of some of Europe's leading research-intensive universities in the field of infectious diseases and the one health concept, which seeks to improve health in people, animals and for the benefit of the environment. 

The three founding partners are Université de Tours, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the University of Edinburgh. 

The Scotsman Life Sciences Scotland Supplement 2019 featuring article on Tripe A by John Mackenzie

The Scotsman Life Sciences Conference 2019 is the annual meeting for this growing sector and attracts  professionals in industry, academia and healthcare. The event introduces the opportunities we have in Scotland to become leaders in innovation and realise our ambition. 

John Mackenzie, CEO of Roslin Innovation Centre, contributed to the accompanying Life Science Supplement promoting Scotland's animal health, aquaculture and agritech sectors.  John is a driving force behind the creation and growth of the Triple-A industry leadership subgroup and the sector has gone "From new kid to major player", maturing fast and firmly established as a key player as the life sciences sector strives for an £8 billion turnover target by 2025.

'How the Triple-A life sciences sub-sector is maturing as it pushes for growth' 
Roslin Innovation Centre celebrating 2 years of business with cake shared with tenants in the open-plan office

It was a pleasure to introduce representatives from Scottish Development International (SDI) offices in London and Boston to the facilities, research expertise, innovation and collaboration opportunities we have here on Campus - a location for business in Scotland.

As Scotland’s inward investment agency, SDI help businesses from around the world do business in or with Scotland and promote the research, innovation, talent and investment support available. 

Emily Lekkas (left) is International Senior Specialist, Life Sciences & Healthcare, providing support to international companies looking to partner with Scotland's commercial, clinical and academic communities across the digital health, medical devices, pharmaceutical services, regenerative medicine, precision medicine, industrial biotech, chemical sciences and animal health industries. 

Roslin Innovation Centre celebrating 2 years of business with cake shared with tenants in the open-plan office

We extended a fond farewell to our colleague Frances Burgess. Frances worked in roles at Roslin sites for 24 years including The Roslin Institute, Roslin BioCentre, Midlothian Science Zone and finally as Senior Administrator and Tenant Liaison with Roslin Innovation Centre.

Frances played a vital role in our relocation from Roslin BioCentre to Roslin Innovation Centre, working between both sites for many months and liaising with tenants during this transition period - in particular Ingenza Ltd, our largest tenant who joined us here in July 2018.

Our best wishes to Frances on her retirement which will allow her to spend more time with her family and young grandchildren, as well as continuing to enjoy her travels.   
Roslin Innovation Centre celebrating 2 years of business with cake shared with tenants in the open-plan office

Two years on, 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.

We celebrated the continued success and this presented a great occasion to recognise our growth in terms of occupancy, the diversity and capabilities of our tenants and also their achievements.

By the end of 2019 we will have 75% occupancy with 23 tenant companies collaborating in animal sciences, agritech and One Health so a larger celebration cake will need to be ordered for this time next year!

Scottish EDGE assessment panel at Roslin Innovation Centre

Roslin Innovation Centre hosted a 1st Stage Assessment Day for Round 15 of Scottish EDGE, a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent.

Three minute video presentations and applications for potential business ideas in the 'Science' category were assessed by an independent panel of assessors: John Mackenzie (Roslin Innovation Centre), Kathryn Cameron (Scottish Enterprise), Barbara Blaney (Edinburgh Innovations), Ian Archer - (IBioIC) and Alexandra McConnachie (MBA - GRID).

Successful applicants can secure awards of up to £100,000 plus a fantastic package of support from Scottish EDGE. If you think you have the EDGE then Round 16 will open in January 2020.

"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, Roslin Innovation Centre