Boardroom shake-up at biotech firm that helps turn whisky by-products into nutrients

A biotech firm that helps turn whisky by-products into nutrients for the aqua and animal feed industries has unveiled a boardroom reshuffle to support its growth plans.

Pioneering biotechnology firm Horizon Proteins’ chief executive Iain Lochhead. Picture: Martin Shields

Horizon Proteins, which promotes a patented process developed at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, has appointed Iain Lochhead as chief executive. The “strategic changes” also see co-founder Nik Willoughby become the firm’s chief technology officer.

Former Bacardi UK operations director Lochhead, who has more than 20 years of whisky industry experience, joined the company last year and has been providing strategic consulting.

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Horizon Proteins’ technology can transform underutilised whisky distilling co-products into “cost-effective, high-quality” nutrients for the aqua and animal feed industries.

The patented technology – which involves recovering protein from pot ale, liquid residue left over from the whisky-making process – is seen as a crucial element in developing Scotland’s circular bioeconomy.

Company chairman Ian Hamilton said: “Iain’s appointment is tremendous news; he brings with him vast knowledge of the industry that will help us drive the business forward.

“He was immediately excited by our technology and understood how it can revolutionise the whisky industry while at the same time bring wider sustainability benefits.

“Iain has already had a positive impact, in particular expanding our discussions within the industry and it is exciting to have him on board.”

Willoughby added: “The addition of Iain to the team is a clear signalling of our intent to show the market what Horizon Proteins can do.

“It also gives us greater capacity to explore other opportunities in this area, be dynamic and positively contribute to true sustainability both in Scotland and globally.”

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