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First tenant announced for European Marine Science Park

22 May 2014

The first tenant of a state of the art Science Park in Argyll is now in residence.

Xanthella Ltd has recently moved into Malin House, the first building completed on the European Marine Science Park at Dunstaffnage, near Oban.  Taking a lease of almost 1500 sq ft of office and lab accommodation, Xanthella has secured a first-class facility in which to develop and grow the business.

The European Marine Science Park (EMSP) is owned and managed by economic and community development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Argyll-based Xanthella Ltd is a small, fast growing business, established and run by Dr Douglas McKenzie, a well known marine science entrepreneur.  Dr McKenzie previously established the UK’s first specialist marine biotech company Integrin Advanced Biosystems Ltd in 1999. 

Xanthella develops photobioreactors (PBR) for use in scalable form for growing microalgae for research and industrial production of high value products such as cosmetics, nutraceuticals and medicines.
The company has already achieved international sales to the University of the West Indies of its first PBR products. The Technology Strategy Board recently funded Xanthella for an innovative project on light processing for improved growth of algae with the University of St Andrews.

Dr McKenzie commented: “Malin House is an excellent base from which we can grow Xanthella. The building’s light and airy atmosphere makes it a great place to work and the low carbon footprint really fits our company’s ethos. We are looking forward to welcoming guests, collaborators and customers to our new facility and to closer working with scientists at the Scottish Association of Marine Science.”

Douglas Cowan, HIE’s Area Manager for Argyll and the Islands, said: “HIE is delighted to welcome Xanthella Ltd to EMSP at Dunstaffnage.  As a local high-growth company, Xanthella is joining a thriving entrepreneurial community of marine scientists in Argyll. The company’s move into Malin House confirms our efforts to grow life sciences and support the unique marine science cluster of activity in our region.”

HIE developed the EMSP in order to enable new and expanding companies, as well as inward investors, to locate to the region and further develop the world-class centre of excellence in Marine Science. The Dunstaffnage site is already an internationally recognised centre of excellence for marine science. The Scottish Marine Institute at the same location is home to the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS), an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands, and the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology, which offers incubation space for start-up companies.

The 20,000 sq ft of office and laboratory space at EMSP will support businesses in Scotland's growing Life Sciences and Energy sectors and has the potential to support up to 125 jobs.

Benefits to the business community of being located at the EMSP include increased access to research, opportunities for knowledge exchange and the wider benefits of being part of a significant cluster of international expertise.

In August 2010, the HIE Board approved an investment of £7.5m to create this first phase of the Park. HIE contributed £4.5m of its own grant-in-aid budget from the Scottish Government, and attracted the remaining £3m towards this first phase from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

For further information on Xanthella Ltd, please visit:

To find out more about the European Marine Science Park, please visit:

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