University Innovation Portal helps attract Cellexus to Dundee

The University of Dundee’s Innovation Portal  has played a key role in helping an emergent life sciences company relocate to Dundee from England.

Cellexus cited Scotland's reputation as a life sciences hub as well as strong links with academia and the NHS as it moved operations from Cambridgeshire to Dundee. The innovative business also received £250,000 of equity funding from the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

Bob Cumming, Director of Cellexus, said the company chose Dundee over other life science hubs in Scotland as it is already doing development work with the University and had also accessed help from electrical engineering business Albacom, also based locally.

“We started the process to move to Scotland and have just been bowled over by the help, support and knowledge that is up here that we didn't have access to before,” said Mr Cumming.

Cellexus manufactures innovative bioreactor systems designed to simplify fermentation and cell culture bioprocesses in biopharmaceutical research, scale-up, production and contract manufacturing.

The company utilised expertise in the College of Life Sciences to develop its `Felix’ machine designed for the production of mammalian cell culture under a BioKT grant funded by the BioPortal, part of the Innovation Portal.

Anne Muir, BioPortal manager and Acting Head of Knowledge Exchange at the University, said, “We are delighted that Cellexus has decided to relocate to Dundee and further build on the excellent partnership that has developed between the company, the University and other local organisations in Dundee.

“Our Innovation Portal and BioPortal were established to engage with Scottish SMEs to provide access to Tayside’s academic expertise and offer grant funding to support company innovation.

“Larger, longer-term strategic partnerships between the University and industry, such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), are also managed by the Innovation Portal. The BioPortal is a dedicated resource for the Scottish Bio/Medical sector, offering advice on funding opportunities and initiating collaborations between companies and the University.

“The aim is to promote and foster productive knowledge transfer between the Universities of Dundee and Abertay, the James Hutton Institute and Scottish industry. We aim to improve the competitiveness of Scottish businesses by bringing together innovative companies with scientists, technologists and engineering academic experts keen to apply their expertise to the needs of industry. The project with Cellexus has been a tremendous example of the benefits this can reap.”

Roddy Isles
Head of Press
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