JB Equity backs new animal science company

A new company has been created to maximise the commercial impact of the University of Edinburgh’s pioneering animal science research.

The company, Roslin Technologies Ltd, has been launched to help commercialise research from the University’s Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

The University has partnered with Edinburgh-based private equity advisor JB Equity, who are raising an initial £15 million to support the company.

The Roslin Technologies team aims to raise further investment that will support the creation of licensed spin-off companies.

The new venture will offer investors the chance to get involved in research projects aimed at improving animal health and raising agricultural productivity.

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.

“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,” said Martin Hjorth-Jensen, chairman of JB Equity.

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 recognised system for assessing quality of research in UK higher education.

“This investment is recognition of the excellence of animal sciences research in Scotland,” said professor David Hume, Director, The Roslin Institute and Research Director, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

“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, the University’s Director of Corporate Services, said that the investment reflects the success of the University in commercialisation of its research.

“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,” said Edmiston.