Roslin Cells grows through partnership and funding support
“Responsive and supportive,” asserts Roslin Cells CEO, Aidan Courtney, when describing his experience of Enterprise Europe Network. “They understand our business, our aims and needs and have been extremely helpful,” he continues.
A spin-out company from Roslin Institute in 2006, and supported by the University of Edinburgh, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service and Scottish Enterprise, Roslin Cells works on leading edge stem cell research, creating new stem cell lines for use in regenerative medicine. It’s very much at the forefront of scientific learning, transferring stem cell technology into clinical therapy.
Aidan explains how the support provided by Enterprise Europe Network has helped Roslin Cells to enhance its profile and access funding opportunities. “The Network has helped us in several ways. Firstly, they’ve assisted us in understanding the possible sources of EU funding, for example the Eurostars programme and Framework 7 Collaborative Research projects. Identifying these and providing technical advice during the grant application process has been invaluable.”
The Eurostars programme, launched in 2007, is the first European funding and support programme specifically dedicated to SMEs, encouraging businesses to lead international collaborative research and innovation projects by making access to support and funding more straightforward. With criteria that emphasises the civilian purpose of technological advances and requires collaboration between at least two parties, the programme is exactly the type of support that could most benefit a business like Roslin Cells.
“In addition,” continues Aidan, “once we’ve identified potential partners for collaboration, the Network has provided support to us in pulling together the application. They’ve also provided us with general information about what’s going on and have enabled us to access other companies in Europe that might be of interest.”
Network of contacts
Dr Claire Melville at Enterprise Europe Network, has worked closely with Roslin Cells. “It can be difficult for very R&D focused SMEs to have the resources to search for possible funding sources that are so vital to their work,” she explains. “The application stage can be off-putting as well, but at the Network, we can work closely with businesses to identify the sources of funding most relevant to them and we can use our experience to best effect in completing applications. In addition, the breadth of our contacts across Europe makes identifying potential partners much more straightforward.”
“New developments are continually emerging in stem cell research and regenerative medicine” comments Aidan. “To maximise the potential of these opportunities, it’s vital that we establish collaborations with leading academic researchers and other private companies. We also need to access translational funding to enable fundamental research to be developed into clinical therapies. This will only be successful if we have a pan-Europe perspective.
“Enterprise Europe Network has proved more than capable of facilitating the collaborations we’re looking for, offering us confidentiality and a commitment to supporting our needs. I hold them in the highest regard.”