Spin-out earns major funding award


A Heriot-Watt spin-out company has been awarded €2m to accelerate the development of its pioneering technology.

uFraction8 has been accepted for funding through Poland’s innovation funding agency, the NCBiR “Fast Track” programme. It was selected after impressing with its innovative filtration system capable of separating bacterial and other biological cells from liquid.

uFraction8 uses an advanced technology, called microfluidics to transform the way liquids are processed. The goal is to use this new mechanism to make it cheaper and easier to harvest microbes in order to make products such as food, chemicals and medicines. The company is also focussing on industrial biotechnology with a view to solving wider environmental problems including extracting micro-plastics from the oceans.

Dr Monika Tomecka and Dr Brian Miller, who founded the company in 2017, say the latest funding award could be the tipping point in delivering on their vision to “make sustainability affordable”.

Dr Brian Miller said: “I’m really excited about kicking this off and bringing more people into our team. Our capacity and rate of progress will more than double. This award will fuel the growth of uFraction8 and accelerate our time to market with a product that will transform bio-based industries.”

The €2m follows hot on the heels of the Nature Spinoff “one to watch” award for the Scottish-based spin-out.

While the “Fast Track” programme helps fund research and development, it also continues funding through CE certification, which assists in bringing new technology to the marketplace.

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Craig McManamon