Animal sciences investment aims to boost company creation
A new company has been formed to maximise the commercial impact of Edinburgh's world-leading animal science research.
The company – Roslin Technologies Ltd – has been launched to facilitate the commercialisation of research from the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.
It offers one of the world's largest investment opportunities in research projects aimed at improving animal health and raising agricultural productivity.
The University has partnered with Edinburgh-based private equity advisor JB Equity, who are raising an initial £15 million to support the venture.
Roslin Technologies will offer opportunities for investors looking to capitalise on the growing demand for food and agricultural products.
It will be led by a specialist team of investment managers with expert knowledge in animal science, big data, and project management. The team aims to raise further investment that will support the creation of licensed spin-off companies.
Martin Hjorth-Jensen, Chairman of JB Equity, said: "With a global population increasing beyond nine billion by 2040, innovation and investment in animal science and genetics will be critical to ensure global food security. We are seeing an ever-increasing appetite for investment in technology advancements in animal health and agriculture and Roslin Technologies will provide a channel for those funds to help accelerate these projects."
The Roslin Institute – which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council – is located with the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies on the University of Edinburgh's Easter Bush Campus.
Research on the campus is focused on the applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security. It was ranked as most powerful in the veterinary and agricultural research category of the UK Government's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) – the system for assessing quality of research in UK higher education.
Professor David Hume, Director of The Roslin Institute and Research Director of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: "This investment is recognition of the excellence of animal sciences research in Scotland. It is especially timely as we become major partners in a UK Agri-Tech Centre of Excellence, and also form a joint venture with the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."
Hugh Edmiston, Director of Corporate Services at the University of Edinburgh, noted that the investment reflects the ongoing commitment and success of the University in commercialisation of its research. He said: "The co-location of Roslin Technologies in the new Roslin Innovation Centre, currently under construction on the Easter Bush Campus, will provide unprecedented opportunities for researchers to access business and commercialisation expertise as well as funding."
JB Equity has commenced the fundraising process and will host the first investor day at The Roslin Institute on Thursday, 17 March.