Scotland has been buzzing with ground breaking STEM news across various industries this past month, showcasing its commitment to innovation, economic growth, and sustainability. From Merck’s significant investment in biosafety testing to Pioneer Group’s expansion of lab space, and Carbogenics’ innovative waste-to-product facility, Scotland is making waves in science, manufacturing, and environmental advancements. Read ahead to find out this months selection of STEM news from Scotland.
💉 Merck Invests €35 Million in Biosafety Testing, Creating 500 Jobs and Advancing Drug Safety in Scotland!
Merck, a leading science and technology company, is investing €35 million in biosafety testing at its Glasgow and Stirling sites. This expansion will create nearly 500 new jobs, bringing Merck’s total workforce to over 1,200 employees across the two locations. Biosafety testing is a critical step in drug development and manufacturing, ensuring the safety, efficacy, and regulatory compliance of drugs. The investment includes a new 1,200-square-meter facility in Glasgow for molecular biology and sequencing services, as well as expanded testing capacity in existing buildings.
Merck’s commitment to global medicine safety is demonstrated by investments exceeding €350 million in their global testing network since mid-2022. With a wealth of testing expertise spanning over 75 years, including 33 years in Scotland, Merck’s biosafety testing services in Glasgow and Stirling have experienced strong growth. This investment acknowledges the exceptional work of Merck’s on-site teams and reinforces their dedication to providing cutting-edge testing solutions. The company’s BioReliance® testing services portfolio performs over 20,000 studies annually for more than 500 clients worldwide. Merck aims to achieve Group sales of approximately €25 billion by 2025, with the “Big 3” businesses, including Life Science Services, playing a significant role in this growth strategy.
🏭🌍 National Manufacturing Institute Scotland Opens Flagship Facility in Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District
The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), operated by the University of Strathclyde, has inaugurated its state-of-the-art flagship facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) in Renfrewshire. This new campus aims to boost the country’s economy, foster skills development, and create sustainable communities. Acting as a global hub for advanced manufacturing, the 11,500-square-meter carbon-neutral facility, situated next to Glasgow Airport, will support manufacturing, engineering, and technology businesses of all sizes. Through innovative research and development, the institute will enhance productivity, enable access to emerging markets, drive technological advancements, and help companies achieve their net-zero targets.
Scotland’s manufacturing sector, employing over 179,000 people, contributes to more than 50% of the country’s international exports and 47% of business expenditure on R&D. The facility will house the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, a connected Digital Factory, and a collaboration hub. The NMIS Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC) will also relocate to the new building, splitting operations between the facility and the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre. The NMIS Digital Factory will feature technology zones dedicated to growth areas such as food and drink, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), circular economy, and digital transformation for sustainable manufacturing.
The opening ceremony was led by Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf, and the facility showcases clean and innovative low-carbon solutions, including a large-scale rooftop solar array, access to a low-carbon district heating network, and a rainwater harvesting system.
♻️ Carbogenics Raises £1m for Innovative Waste-to-Product Facility in Scotland
Carbogenics has secured over £1 million in funding to establish its first research, development, and production facility in Scotland. The company specialises in converting challenging-to-recycle food, farm, and paper waste into a unique product called CreChar. This carbon-rich, porous material is designed to enhance the performance of anaerobic digestion plants. The investment comes from new lead investor Green Angel Ventures, as well as existing supporters Scottish Enterprise and Old College Capital.
With successful lab and industrial trials, Carbogenics plans to construct its production facility in Perthshire, enabling the introduction of CreChar to the UK anaerobic digestion market. The facility is expected to become operational by the end of the first quarter next year. Additionally, Carbogenics is doubling its workforce by creating new positions in production, operations, and business development. As part of its expansion plans, the company is actively seeking further debt and investment financing in the following months.
The current investment round will remain open until November. Chief Executive Ed Craig expressed confidence in the company’s growth prospects, emphasizing the ability to scale the business, establish the production facility, solidify the customer base, and expand into European markets. With energy security becoming a priority in the energy transition, Carbogenics believes the UK will increase its utilization of biogas and follow the footsteps of its trading partners in Europe, aligning with sustainability goals.
🔬🏢 Pioneer Group Expands BioCity Glasgow Campus with New Lab Space
Pioneer Group, the UK’s largest developer and operator of lab space, has secured planning permission for a 72,800-square-foot purpose-built lab space at its BioCity Glasgow campus, marking a significant expansion in Scotland. The development will unfold in two phases, featuring a three-story building with 33,300 square feet of lab space in phase one, and a two-story building offering 39,500 square feet of essential facilities in phase two.
This expansion will elevate Pioneer Group’s presence in Scotland to over 308,000 square feet, catering to a diverse range of market segments from start-ups to established companies. The new lab space will provide flexible layouts, fully fitted Grade A facilities, and access to an innovation ecosystem that fosters collaboration among academia, government, and investors. Positioned between Glasgow and Edinburgh with convenient transportation links, BioCity Glasgow is on track to become a globally competitive hub for research and innovation. The existing 22-acre campus already accommodates 108,000 square feet of lab and office space across eight buildings, supporting incubation and hosting renowned companies in the life sciences sector.
Pioneer Group’s investment and expansion aim to address the shortage of lab development in Scotland, supporting the growth of the vibrant life sciences industry by delivering over 200,000 square feet of purpose-built lab space in the country over the next two years. By providing state-of-the-art facilities and nurturing a collaborative environment, Pioneer Group plays a pivotal role in attracting start-ups, fostering innovation, and positioning Scotland as a prominent player in the global life sciences landscape.
These developments demonstrate Scotland’s dedication to scientific advancements, economic growth, and sustainability. From driving drug safety to fostering innovation in manufacturing and transforming waste into valuable resources, Scotland is leading the way in these crucial sectors.
Check back next month for an update on the most exciting STEM news in Scotland as the country continues to make strides towards a prosperous and sustainable future.