Capital injection fuelling momentum at Falkirk-based biotech engineer

A biotech engineering company whose offering is seen as crucial to new, sustainable food systems has secured nearly £3 million in new investment to speed up commercialisation.

Falkirk-based uFraction8 said the fundraise, secured through a combination of private-equity investment and grants, will enable it to expand its existing facilities, grow its team, scale its technology, and deploy large-scale tests with prospective customers.

The firm is developing bio-separation instruments for pharmaceutical as well as food manufacturers, aiming to make sustainable manufacturing with biology affordable.

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Dr Monika Tomecka and Dr Brian Miller, who founded the firm in 2017. Picture: contributed.
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The company was founded in 2017 by Dr Brian Miller and Dr Monika Tomecka, with the latter a winner of the 2018 AccelerateHER Awards for female business-founders. She consequently attended market-building AccelerateHER trade missions to the US, Dubai and Germany to further build uFraction8’s global profile.

The biotech firm – which says has progressed to a mini-industrial demonstrator, currently being used for customer trials, from its lab-scale prototype beginnings – in 2019 opened a fully-owned subsidiary in Poznan, Poland, that was awarded a major grant last year from the country’s National Centre for Research and Development.

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This latest investment round was led by Thia Ventures alongside fellow foodtech investors Blue Horizon and EIT Food, with additional funding from a London-based angel investor. Abel Rossignol and fellow Thia Ventures investor Bart Van Hooland will now join uFraction8’s board. The round was also supported by Scottish Enterprise and global research group Leave a Nest, as well as the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, and Innovate UK.

Dr Miller said: “We are excited about this successful investment round and the new partners supporting our mission to produce the best-ever microscale liquid-solid separation systems. Thia Venture and Blue Horizon are ideal partners which share our goals and values and we look forward to closely working with them to achieve long-term success on this journey.”

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Dr Tomecka added: “This significant investment, along with the immense and highly successful bio-manufacturing sector track record of our new partners, will enable uFraction8 to grow faster than ever before.

"Our entire team is excited and ready for the hard work ahead in taking the business to the next level and beyond. We remain open to further collaboration opportunities that will support our aim of promoting our cutting-edge technology across global markets.”

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