Press release

Success for University spinout Ten Bio in major funding competition

Published on 8 October 2020

University of Dundee spinout company Ten Bio Ltd has won £65,000 in a national competition supporting Scotland’s most exciting new enterprises.

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University of Dundee spinout company Ten Bio Ltd has won £65,000 in a national competition supporting Scotland’s most exciting new enterprises. 

Scottish EDGE is the UK’s largest business funding competition, supporting Scotland’s most innovative, high-growth potential startup businesses with up to £150,000 in cash and an all-encompassing business support package. 

This year, Scottish EDGE received a record-breaking 327 applications. Ten Bio, a biotech company spun out from the University’s School of Life Sciences, was among 33 businesses awarded a share of the £1 million prize pot at last night’s virtual awards. 

Founders Dr Robyn Hickerson and Dr Michael Conneely have successfully created a patented, human skin culture system that offers a compelling alternative to animal testing. 

They have developed a product, branded ‘TenSkin™’, where human skin is stretched to an optimal tension to mimic the mechanobiology that exists in intact, living skin on the body. The Scottish EDGE funding will help the company toward its goal to transform pharmaceutical and cosmetics testing. 

“We are thrilled to have receive a Scottish EDGE award, especially considering the quality of all of the finalists,” said Dr Robyn Hickerson. 

“This is a tremendous honour. The EDGE prize will be critical in our early growth and certainly play a key role in our success.” 

Ten Bio was one of three businesses to receive an IBioIC supported EDGE Award, a new addition to the Scottish EDGE competition partially funded by The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC). 

A total of £155,000 was shared among the three biotechnology start-ups. 

Evelyn McDonald, CEO of Scottish EDGE added, “We know that Biotechnology as an industry will have an essential role to play in the rebuilding and reshaping of our economy if we are to create a more sustainable future for all. 

“This generous support from IBioIC will benefit not only three promising, high-growth potential businesses operating within the crucial bioeconomy space, but also EDGE as an organisation as we look to embed impactful entrepreneurship as a key criteria for support in the future.” 

The Scottish EDGE competition is funded by the Hunter Foundation, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and private donors. The competition is delivered twice per year with the total pot of money awarded now exceeding £16 million in the 16 rounds now completed.  

IBioIC is a networking and support organisation that connects industry, academia and government to bring biotechnology processes and products to the global market. It was established in 2014 to fulfil the aims of the National Plan for Industrial Biotechnology to grow a £900 million biotechnology industry in Scotland by 2025. 


Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878