09 Nov Creating an Environment for Innovation
Synonymous with Dolly the Sheep, Roslin is a by-word for science, innovation and discovery. Building on that tradition is the Roslin Innovation Centre, a world-leading bioscience hub bringing together academic talent, investment, enterprise and infrastructure within one vibrant space. In our latest blog, John MacKenzie, the centre’s CEO, explains what is so unique about Roslin and why it is fast becoming an international asset.
Roslin Innovation Centre is the new multi-occupancy business gateway to the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus and opened for business at the end of August 2017. Our first year proved to be an exciting one packed with many highlights.
Tenants joined at a rate of over one each month and by the end of our first year, with 15 companies in residence occupying over 60% of leased space, there became a real buzz about the place.
We now house companies representative of most corners of the globe in either animal health, life science, agritech, aquaculture or One Health sectors; international in their outlook and varying in type from incubator to established companies, all with innovation at their core and seeking to undertake collaborative research with experts on Campus.
Ingenza Ltd, a dynamic European industrial biotechnology company, is one of the largest companies to take up residence at Roslin Innovation Centre. With a team of over 40, occupying 11,000 sq ft of customised, state-of-the-art office and lab facilities on the top floor, the relocation is a significant milestone for the company and reflects ambitious growth plans.
CENTRE OF ATTRACTION
Roslin Innovation Centre is without a doubt a stunning building with a contemporary design and living wall features but what has perhaps drawn most attention has been the installation on Campus of ‘Canter’, a sculpture of a horse’s head with flowing mane designed by Andy Scott, the creator of The Kelpies.
The building’s magnificent atrium provides the space and a ‘wow’ factor for public engagement and has accommodated several events, including networking receptions, poster sessions, a Tenant Showcase and took part in the annual Easter Bush Campus Open Day.
Numerous school pupils have enjoyed hands on fun in the Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC) attending workshops and engaging with University scientists, vets, staff and students.
We have also received several VIP visits. Bill Gates and Secretary of State Penny Mordaunt visited Easter Bush Campus and participated in a discussion event with staff and students in the Centre building and highlighted how UK innovations are improving the prosperity of farmers in developing countries.
Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, officially opened the Charnock Bradley Building, named after a former Principal of the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College, and took time to meet with many of our tenant companies in our open plan office space on the upper floor.
Most recently, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hosted a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Cabinet in our office and meeting space and officially launched Roslin Innovation Centre. This was a great opportunity for the First Minister to meet some of our tenants and hear more about their innovative and collaborative work.
OUR SUCCESS IS NO SECRET
What we have on Campus is a remarkable combination of academic talent, investment, enterprise and infrastructure within an area which is positioning itself as an internationally significant and world-leading location for scientific advancement. By working together with commercial partners, we are helping to make scientific research and discovery commercially viable.
We offer genuine prospects for leading innovation companies to be part of an integrated and collaborative cluster that is ideally placed to encourage the natural development of business collaborations, providing flexible laboratory and office space close to science and clinical livestock expertise.
As well as providing long-term lab and office space, we recently opened a ‘Research Hotel’ offering established companies and start-ups ready to use state-of-the art work space with access to standard lab equipment – an ideal solution for new or expanding businesses or those in a transient phase.
Overall, we are filling up fast and should be two thirds occupied by the end of 2018, and with the inclusion of many international companies we are well on our way to becoming one of the animal health science capitals of the world.
It isn’t just the benefit of impressive and inspiring work space – it’s about an environment where business to business and business to academia opportunities thrive.
The building’s innovative and flexible space, combined with the ecosystem and culture we’ve encouraged, has created a great atmosphere and an optimal innovation environment at the heart of a world-leading research and innovation Campus for companies, students and academics.