The centre – named after Nobel Prize-winning physicist Sir Peter Higgs – is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and is co-located with the UK Astronomy Technology Centre and the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Astronomy at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh.
It aims to foster Scottish technology start-ups, providing affordable and flexible access to high-specification laboratories and equipment, on-site technical expertise, and business support that would usually be out of reach for such firms, and reducing their risk, cost and time to market.
The six new companies to join the Higgs Centre for Innovation comprise Metacarpal, BioLiberty, Danu Robotics, Gibson Robotics, OGI BIO, and Morphic Technology.
Examples of how they are being helped by the Higgs Centre include BioLiberty using onsite electronic expertise, more commonly applied to the exploration of the universe, to refine its Digital Therapy Platform. The firm has designed a robotic glove that aims to improve grip, develop natural strength, and restore independent living for those affected by hand weakness.
Separately, Morphic Technology has joined the Higgs Centre as part of the ESA Business Incubation Centre United Kingdom, a programme managed by STFC designed to help start-ups use space and satellite technologies to develop new products and services. The start-up is developing a product that it says enables a fast and safe way to speak with other group members during outdoor activities, such as cycling and skiing, at the click of one button without having to stop to use a mobile or worry about connectivity.
STFC’s Ruairidh Henderson, business incubation manager at the Higgs Centre, said: “It’s really exciting to be welcoming these new companies [to the facility], a vibrant and growing community of pioneering, early-stage businesses.”
Additionally, STFC’s Dr Julian Dines, head of innovation at the Higgs Centre, said: “The advanced development facilities and expertise here… will help these businesses to build on their strengths and innovate – unlocking economic opportunities that lead to growth and job creation. I look forward to supporting them in their journeys to commercial success, which in turn will benefit the wider economy and society.”