Scottish business round-up

A round-up of business news from across Scotland featuring: Alpha Solway’s visor production for the NHS, Edinburgh Gin’s new Gin Fizz, Smarter Grid Solutions’ £20 million R&D milestone, Sunamp’s £50,00 grant from Innovate UK, Pneumagen’s £4m investment from Thairm Bio, Rautomead Ltd’s £1m funding from UK Export Finance and Exscientia’s $60m funding round.

Scottish business round-up

  • Alpha Solway to produce 1.1m visors for the NHS

Annan-based Alpha Solway, a firm which produces personal protective equipment (PPE) is in the process of producing 1.1 million face vistiors for the NHS at a rate of 20,000 visors per day.

The firm is aiding the current demand for PPE amid the coronavirus pandemic by manufacturing FFP3 face masks, a type which is worn in intensive care units.

The firm is creating the masks with newly installed machiner as part of a new Scottish supply chain. Alpha Solway has more machinery arriving next month to help increase their production capacity per week.


  • Edinburgh Gin launches new Raspberry Gin Fizz

Edinburgh Gin has released a new Raspberry Gin Fizz, a sparkling wine and raspberry liqueur in a ready-to-drink can, which can now be found in Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores.

The brand has also created a unique supersized “Neighbourhood Pack” to be delivered to streets throughout the country who have shown the greatest community spirit throughout the coronavirus crisis.

To receive a Neighbourhood Pack, Edinburgh Gin is asking people to nominate their community online sharing an example of a good deed.


  • Smarter Grid Solutions to reach £20 million milestone

Smarter Grid Solutions, a software development company based in Glasgow is on track to break even in the current financial year after reaching a £20 million research and development milestone. 

The firm allows operators to connect wind turbines, solar panels and other sources of renewable energy to the distribution grid at greater speed and less cost than traditional methods.

The firm has not been hindered by the coronavirus outbreak as its strong order book is expected to ensure the company will break even for the first time since its launch in 2008.


  • Sunamp wins Innovate UK grant to advance hand hygiene solution

Scottish heat battery manufacturer Sunamp has been awarded a £50,000 grant from Innovate UK to support the development of mobile handwash units aimed at improving hand hygiene to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The project was one of just 800 selected from over 8,600 applications that will develop new technology and innovation to overcome some of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mobile handwash units will use Sunamp’s RAL certified heat battery technology to provide large amounts of clean hot water when and, crucially, where it is needed most, whether on temporary wards, in the workplace or out in the field. 


  • Pneumagen secures £4m investment from Thairm Bio

Pneumagen, a University of St Andrews spin-out has secured £4 million of investment from life sciences investor Thairm Bio to support its research on a drug to treat coronavirus.

The investment was led by Thairm Bio (Thairm) with additional investment from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB). The investment will progress its lead candidate, Neumifil into a clinical trial for COVID-19.

Neumifil has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of RTIs, providing patients with total protection against respiratory pathogens including emerging viruses with pandemic potential.


  • Rautomead Ltd secures £1m funding from UK Export Finance

Dundee-based manufacturing company Rautomead Ltd has secured over £1 million of financing from UK Export Finance (UKEF).

The funding will be used to help Rautomead Ltd supply machinery to Shaanxi Sirui Advanced Materials Co. Ltd, a specialist Chinese metals manufacturing company in Xian.

Rautomead’s continuous casting machine will be used to produce complex copper chrome zirconium alloy rods at a factory in Baoji City.


  • Exscientia raises $60 million in latest funding round

Dundee-based life sciences firm Excientia has raised $60 million in its latest funding round.

The financing round has been led by new investor Novo Holdings with existing investors – Evotec, Bristol Myers Squibb, and GT Healthcare Capital (through its LPs) – participating in the round.

The new capital will be used to boldly expand Exscientia’s existing portfolio and pipeline, by launching new projects, progressing advanced projects to the clinic, and expanding AI biology as part of Exscientia’s full-stack capabilities. In addition, the company plans to accelerate its international expansion, including the build-out of its presence in the USA.

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