Institutional investors have provided an initial £10 million ($12.53 million; €11.79) round of capital to Roslin Technologies, a new company that will develop business opportunities tied to animal science research at the University of Edinburgh.
The startup is a partnership between the university, agri-focused private equity advisors JB Equity and the British Innovation Fund, a new fund that invests venture capital into companies spawned from British universities, which is jointly managed by Milltrust Agricultural Investments and Future Planet Capital.
The funding will help Roslin Technologies and university researchers improve the health of farmed animals and raise agricultural productivity through veterinary vaccines and tools to diagnose disease, and to develop methods for preserving frozen stocks of reproductive material to preserve rare bird species, according to a statement from the university.
“Roslin Technologies provides us with the opportunity to couple sustainable impact [while] generating investor returns,” said Griff Williams, CIO of the British Innovation Fund and co-founder of Milltrust. “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.”
Campus research is focused on the applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security. The university noted that Roslin Technologies is thought to be the largest agriculture biotechnology start-up in UK history to focus on research aimed at improving animal health and agricultural productivity.
“There is incredible demand for innovations that address desperately needed productivity increases in agriculture,” said Glen Illing, CEO of Roslin Technologies and a partner at JB Equity. “This investment allows us to deliver a technology pipeline that spans across [our] core focus on food, environmental security and animal and human health.”