Pioneering tech start-ups have secured over £10 million in investment, and created 100 jobs, since the business incubation centre in Edinburgh opened in 2018.
Part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the Higgs Centre is co-located with the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) and The University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Astronomy at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh.
With a focus on businesses in the big data and space sectors, the Higgs Centre is playing an important role in the growth and success of Scottish technology start-ups.
Tangible business benefits
Tenants gain affordable access to the world class research facilities, technical expertise, office space and specialist business support they need to take their technologies, and businesses, to the next level.
Ultimately, this support, which would usually be out of reach to a small business, enables them to overcome their technology challenges, which reduces risk, cost and time to globally competitive markets.
Robotics, satellites and beyond
Firms specialising in artificial intelligence, robotics, Earth observation, data analytics and even prosthetics have all been assisted by the STFC Business Incubation programme at the Higgs Centre on the start of their journey.
Previous tenants Bioliberty aim to empower every human to live a longer independent life by providing assistive robotics and rehabilitative technologies.
Rowan Armstrong, CEO at Bioliberty, said:
We wouldn’t be in our current position without the Higgs Centre. It wouldn’t have been possible to raise investment, drive forward research and development, learn from other companies, and so much more if it weren’t for the Higgs Incubator and the fantastic team behind it. We would recommend the incubator to anyone who has an early-stage start-up and wants to be part of a supportive environment.
Current tenants Gibson Robotics specialise in development of drones for security applications such as supplementing police helicopters with an environmentally and budget friendly alternative or, in extreme circumstances, capturing hostile drones which can ruin holiday plans and cost airports millions in downtime.
Gibson Robotics founder and Managing Director, Joe Gibson said:
Higgs have been supporting our growth for almost a year and it has been incredibly valuable. Being part of the Higgs ecosystem alongside other high-tech start-ups is great as we share knowledge, experiences and our networks.
STFC’s Dr Julian Dines, Head of Innovation at the Higgs Centre, said:
It’s fantastic to have reached such an important milestone with £10 million in investment and over 100 jobs. We’re always incredibly proud of the Higgs Centre’s role in assisting young tech companies at the start of their journey. Though we are excited by what we have achieved, we continue to look to the future, supporting small businesses and start-ups by providing access to knowledge, technical skills and facilities. And we look forward to announcing further successes and even more investment over the coming months.
STFC’s Ruairidh Henderson, Business Incubation Manager at the Higgs Centre, said:
We’re all about getting hi-tech start-ups, started here at our home on the hill. We try to remove as many obstacles, and offer as much guidance, as possible so the companies can focus on reaching their goals. Credit to the businesses – good ideas, well executed get investment – and we wish them all very well as they continue to scale into the future. Whether taking part in a business incubation programme, leasing an exclusive-use lab, or flexible access to bench space and high-specification equipment, there are a number options available to businesses at the Higgs Centre for Innovation.