Roslin Technologies Ltd. has successfully raised £10 (US$12.5) million from institutional investors The British Innovation Fund to become the largest agritech start-up in UK history. The company is jointly owned by the University of Edinburgh, agriculture-focused private equity advisors JB Equity and The British Innovation Fund, a Milltrust International fund, with cornerstone commitment from The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund.
Roslin Technologies aims to commercialize the intellectual property and know-how of the University’s Roslin Institute and The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, the UK’s leading vet school, revolutionizing agricultural productivity on a global scale through ground-breaking science.
Based at University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus, the company takes advantage of facilities and infrastructure that has benefitted from more than £200 (US$25.4) million of investment over the past five years, making the campus the largest concentration of animal science in Europe.
Among the first technologies planned for commercialization are a low-cost manufacturing system to produce therapeutic proteins in chicken eggs, allowing drug discovery for diseases; methods for biobanking poultry germplasm to preserve genetic diversity for future generations; and novel vaccines and diagnostics for veterinary markets to enhance animal welfare.
“This investment recognizes the strength of the University’s innovation capacity and cements our position as one of the world’s leading research-intensive universities,” said Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh.
Griff Williams, co-founder of Milltrust Agricultural Investments and Chief Investment Officer of the British Innovation Fund, said, “With a global population increasing beyond nine billion by 2040, innovation and investment in animal science and sustainability will be critical to ensure global food security. Roslin Technologies provides us with the opportunity to couple sustainable impact with generating investor returns.”
Glen Illing, CEO of Roslin Technologies and partner in JB Equity, said, “We are thrilled to welcome the British Innovation Fund as partner in our joint venture with the University of Edinburgh. There is incredible demand for innovations that address desperately needed productivity increases in agriculture. This investment allows us to deliver a technology pipeline that spans across The Roslin Institute’s core focus on food, environmental security and animal and human health.