First Hamsin wind turbines go Live on Orkney as developers seek new sites

November 4th, 2015

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The first phase of Orkney’s new fully funded community wind turbine scheme will go live on the islands this month, with farmers and landowners at 20 properties set to benefit from deeply discounted electricity for at least two decades.

Hamsin Wind (Hamsin) is aiming to install over 60 single onshore wind turbines at residential and commercial sites across Orkney by the end of 2015 and is actively seeking applications from interested parties. Hosts do not have to pay any money towards the turbine, its installation or future maintenance. Planning and capital costs are entirely covered by Hamsin.
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Aridhia Announces Northern Ireland Based Alzheimer’s Research Collaboration to Benefit from AnalytiXagility Workspace

November 3rd, 2015



Aridhia, the Edinburgh based clinical informatics company, announced today that their AnalytiXagility data platform has been chosen to underpin a three year research programme that was awarded Innovate UK funding via the Neurodegenerative Diseases: Business Models and Big Data competition, following a joint bid by three of Northern Ireland’s leading organisations.

The resulting Moneta Research project – led by Asystec Data Solutions, the University of Ulster and the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) – will use the funding to support their research into identifying people most likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
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ScotlandIS awards CodeClan Scholarship

October 30th, 2015

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ScotlandIS today announced the award of its CodeClan scholarship to Michael MacLeod, a freelance journalist and former TV producer.

CodeClan is Scotland’s first digital skills academy and the ScotlandIS Scholarship was set up to fund one outstanding applicant through the academy’s ground-breaking coding course.

There was fierce competition for the award, which aims to increase access to the CodeClan CX3 course. It was open to applicants who had not been to university and had not worked in an IT or software career to date.

Before winning the scholarship, Michael had an interest in coding and taught himself the basics whilst working as a journalist. He made the decision to leave his full time job to pursue this further.

Commenting on the news, Michael said: “I am delighted to have won this scholarship and to have a place at CodeClan. I’m really looking forward to the intensive learning ahead. I see coding as a force for good and a means of vastly expanding my horizons after I graduate from the course.”
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Hot Tin Roof selects the spookiest Halloween PR stunts

October 23rd, 2015

Love it or fear it, Halloween is more popular in the UK than ever before and it is one of the best excuses to get creative with your PR.

With things that go bump in the night and eerie goings on, this spooky time of year provides an ideal opportunity to pull off the perfect PR stunt. Get it right and you will increase brand awareness at the same time as having fun. Just pity the poor unsuspecting victims who get a scare along the way!

To celebrate the arrival of Halloween once again, here’s a round up of our favourite spooktacular PR stunts from recent years

Vending machine nightmare!

Kellogg’s added a spooky theme to their Rice Krispy Squares, releasing special Halloween flavours, ‘malloween’ and ‘totally shocklatey’. But offering these free in various vending machines across Dublin seems a little too good to be true, doesn’t it? Those who dived in to claim their free sweet treat were given a fright when a scary hand came out from the vending machine door to grab for them. Halloween or not, we will certainly be avoiding all free vending machines in future!

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A day in the life of Darcey.

October 5th, 2015

The cats at Hot Tin Roof had the pleasure of Darcey’s company for a week of work experience. In between making herself useful and learning what a PR Agency does, Darcey found time to answer a quick Q&A for us. Here’s what she had to say:

If money was no object, what would you spend your day doing?

I would spend my day walking around New York City at Christmas time, browsing in every shop wasting no time looking at price tags.
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A Day in the Life of Jane

September 23rd, 2015

Here at Hot Tin Roof we like to know the answers to the important questions, to this end we asked Jane, the latest cat recruit, to give us the lowdown.

Here’s what she said:

Lunchtime! What do you do and where do you do it?

Food should nourish the soul as well as the body, so I try and avoid falling into the shop-bought sandwich trap – it’s too depressing trying to force down a soggy flavourless sarnie that’s 3 days old!

I like to bring leftovers or healthy salads whenever possible, but if not I’ll pop to somewhere nearby like Social Bite. I think it’s very important to support local businesses and know where your food is coming from. Social Bite is committed to using quality ingredients, and I really admire the work they do to help homeless people get back into work. It doesn’t hurt that their food is also delicious!

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Scotland’s First Digital Skills Academy Appoints CEO Harvey Wheaton

September 21st, 2015

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CodeClan, Scotland’s first digital software skills academy, today announced the appointment of Harvey Wheaton, as its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Wheaton will play a key role in launching CodeClan in Edinburgh, and leading it to success as it prepares to open its doors in October to the first cohort of students.

With 25 years experience in software development, Harvey has worked for a broad range of companies including ICI, Astra Zeneca, Cap Gemini, JPMorgan Chase and Electronic Arts.

Most recently Wheaton has coached a wide variety of software development teams around the world, from video games companies to large financial institutions, helping them transform the way they develop, test and deploy their products and services using Agile methodologies.
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Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards 2015 – Abertay University undergraduate lifts coveted award

September 18th, 2015

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A student from Abertay University has been named Young Software Engineer of the Year 2015. Peeter Parna won first prize for an outstanding project combining fluid dynamics, gaming and advanced programming. This is the first time a student from Abertay has won this coveted award.

Second place went to Marija Pinkute, a University of Edinburgh student whose project is aimed at the automatic generation of Tweet messages for news articles. Third place was won by Damien Anderson, from the University of Strathclyde, for his project on generalised Video Game playing.

The Lockheed Martin Software Engineering Project Award went to Archibald ‘Sam’ Elliot, from the University of St Andrews, for developing a concurrency system for Idris and Erlang.
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CodeClan awards first SIMUL8 Scholarship to Iwona Sztorc

September 18th, 2015

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CodeClan’s first scholarship has been won by Iwona Sztorc who, with a background in marketing, recently left her job to learn how to code and start a new career in technology.

Competition for the scholarship was fierce and candidates were assessed against strict criteria including their interest in the industry, background in technology and financial status.

Iwona has already experimented with web design and ‘self taught’ has started to learn to code and build her own websites, including a site to document a charity cycle she and her partner took part in.

Commenting on the news Iwona Sztoc said: “I am thrilled to have won this scholarship, securing a place at CodeClan would have been a phenomenal achievement in itself but to win a scholarship is unbelievable. I am enormously excited to be starting at CodeClan and the limitless opportunities it will open up to me.”
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ScotlandIS calls on Scottish digital tech industry to ‘think big’ as ScotSoft 2015 gets underway

September 17th, 2015

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Audiences at today’s ScotSoft conference for the digital technologies industry will be urged to ‘think big’ to help shape the future success of the sector in Scotland.

Organised by industry trade body ScotlandIS, the event will bring together over 350 CTOs and decision makers in the private and public sectors for its annual Global Forum in Edinburgh.

ScotSoft is an opportunity for business leaders and senior managers to escape day-to-day concerns, hear new ideas and discuss opportunities with their peers. United under the theme ‘Think Big,’ four industry leaders from the US and Europe will cover topics as diverse as intrapreneurialism – fostering a culture of innovation and ideas within an existing organisation – and the importance of improving research and development.

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Quarter of a million funding boost for tech start up, GeckoLabs

September 14th, 2015



Software startup GeckoLabs announced today that it has received investment of £250,000 to broaden its product range and open a new office in London, creating 10 jobs.

Venture capital firm AngelLab led the investment through it’s Venture Partner Andrew Weisz, who will also join the GeckoLabs board, with additional funding provided by the London Co-Investment Fund. As well as growing its team, GeckoLabs will use the funding to strengthen its marketing activity and develop new tools for its customers. The company also hopes to expand in to North America and Asia in the near future.

Founded in Edinburgh in 2012, GeckoLabs develops modern cloud-based software to help educational institutions manage and improve their recruitment processes. It currently works with over 30 of the UK’s top universities and colleges, including Robert Gordon University, Newcastle University, University of East Anglia, University of East London and University of Southampton.

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Scottish Equity Partners completes investment in Hamsin Wind

September 9th, 2015

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Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has completed its first clean energy infrastructure investment from the Environmental Capital Fund. SEP will invest up to £9 million in Hamsin Wind (Hamsin) to fund the roll-out of approximately 200 small, community based, single onshore wind turbines in high wind speed locations across the Highlands and Islands.

Working with development partners, Mistral Energy and ABG, Hamsin has engaged Kingspan Wind as the turbine supply partner, with Hadrian Electrical Engineering the installation and long-term operations and maintenance partner. Many of the Kingspan turbines are manufactured in Scotland and local contractors will be utilised on Hamsin turbine installations.
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Top Cat Takes On Total Warrior Challenge

September 2nd, 2015



Usually preferring a black and white movie marathon to the sporting variety, Hot Tin Roof director Sarah Lee is braving mud, freezing plunge-pools and flames to compete in The Total Warrior Challenge for charity this September.

Sarah has joined a team from the West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, led by Chief Executive Linda Scott, to complete the 12 km all-terrain extreme obstacle course which features punishing obstacles such as Shocker, an electrifying dash through hundreds of hanging live wires. Their goal is to raise £2,000 for the No Limits Sports Club, a charity which provides a positive and encouraging environment for children and young adults who experience disabilities and feel restricted to due lack of sporting facilities.

With two weeks to go to the competition, we ask Sarah how she’s doing…

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Digital Skills Academy to Launch SIMUL8 Scholarship

August 31st, 2015

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CodeClan, Scotland’s first digital skills academy, has today announced an exclusive scholarship to fund one outstanding applicant through its first ground-breaking coding course.

Known as the SIMUL8 Scholarship, the bursary will be fully funded by Scottish software company, SIMUL8 Corporation, which is keen to support CodeClan’s drive to get more coders into the workplace.

With the aim of producing 20 work-ready software developers after every 16-week course, CodeClan’s graduates will help bridge the significant digital skills gap in Scotland. Forecasts suggest Scotland alone could offer up to 11,000 job opportunities a year in the digital sector, rising by 2000 every year.

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Writing rights and wrongs – press release 101

August 25th, 2015



We all know how tough it can be to sit down to a blank sheet of paper and magic up a gripping, newsworthy story that will appeal to the press.

Trust us when we say that our whole team has, at some point or another, faced that crushing writers block that feels like you are hitting your head against a brick wall, or that pesky afternoon ‘lull’ in which your concentration quietly snoozes in the corner while you desperately try to string something meaningful together.

As a PR company, writing is part of our day job and fortunately for us, this has meant we have had years of practice to hone our craft, and fortunately for you, we want to share some hints and tips that we have picked up along the way.

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ScotlandIS Introduces Developers Conference to ScotSoft 2015

August 19th, 2015

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Developers will be centre stage at ScotSoft 2015 thanks to a new strand dedicated to all things technical.

ScotlandIS, the trade body for Scotland’s digital technology sector, will host its 18th annual conference at Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel on 17 September 2015. For the first time, a specialist Developers Conference will bring together over 300 of the country’s brilliant, creative and inquisitive developers, inviting them to explore the unexplored.

The three key themes of the Developers Conference are Inspire, Learn, and Play, with speakers addressing topics as diverse as big data and developing cognitive applications.

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Jobs boost for Scotland as TenTel secures £170,000 in RSA funding

August 17th, 2015


Independent telecoms company, TenTel, revealed today plans to create over 40 new jobs following a £170,000 Regional Selective Assistance funding award. The grant will also enabling the company to re-locate to larger premises outside Edinburgh, paving the way for continued growth.

TenTel is one of the few service providers that offers no-contract broadband and telephone services and in its first year of trading has built its team to 50 people. With ambitious growth plans, TenTel expects to sign up a further 50,000 customers over the next 12 months and increase the team to over 100 full-time staff.

The company expects to announce the location of a new state of the art headquarters towards the end of the year. The new site will be tailor made with the technology and equipment needed to support current business needs and future proof the company for rapid growth.

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Music, Comedy, Tragedy and Flasks – it must be the Festival.

August 3rd, 2015



Love it or be annoyed by it, Edinburgh has three – yes – three – world famous festivals starting on Friday 7 August. International, Fringe and Book. With literally thousands of events happening seemingly in the space of a few hours, and sometimes miles apart, what should the discerning cat trouble themselves to see?

It’s a tough job but our man Lee has trawled through the programmes, lists and mountains of virtual guides to recommend five things to see this year. Here’s what he has to say:

1. Starting off-piste with a concert that isn’t part of any of the festivals named above, our top pick is The Flaming Lips, who are taking over the wonderful Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens on 27 August. The Oklahoma psychedelic space warriors land for an open air show beneath the Castle. If you’ve ever seen the band live before you’ll know that this setting has just got to add to the surreal entertainment factor of their show. If you haven’t seen them before then brace yourself for dancing inflatables, puppets, glitter bombs, fake blood, Wayne walking out into the crowd in a giant ball and much more. Oh and they also play amazing music, drawing material from a 30 year back catalogue including their ‘Pet Sounds for the 90’s’ masterpiece ‘The Soft Bulletin’.
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Aridhia and Vancis join forces to bring combined cloud collaboration services to Netherlands medical research sector

August 1st, 2015



Aridhia, the pioneering Scottish clinical and translational informatics company, has announced a partnership in the Netherlands which it says will unite two of Europe’s leading providers of services to healthcare organisations, and expand Aridhia’s service to the country.

Following the success of Aridhia’s Research as a Service and translational informatics platform in the Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme, and other European healthcare projects, Aridhia’s collaboration with Vancis is seen as a strong endorsement of the strength of the Netherlands’ research sector.
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Scottish Equity Partners expand infrastructure team

July 27th, 2015

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Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has further expanded its infrastructure team with the appointment of Romain Keyen as Associate and Adam Delaney as Director of Finance.

Romain Keyen is based in SEP’s London office and will focus on originating and executing new energy infrastructure investments. He previously worked with BNP Paribas Clean Energy and Glennmont Partners where he was responsible for the acquisition of clean energy assets across Europe.
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Meet Vickie, Hot Tin Roof’s newest cat.

July 22nd, 2015

As Victoria is the youngest cat and the most recent to join Hot Tin Roof we decided to ask her what makes Vickie tick?

Here’s what she said:

How did you end up working at Hot Tin Roof and how long have you been here?

I am the newest recruit at Hot Tin Roof, having only been with the company for 2 months. Hot Tin Roof had been on my radar for a while, so when I saw they were looking for an Account Executive, I was delighted and had to apply!

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Shot Scope Scores Investment to Manufacture Wearable Tech for Golfers in Scotland

July 19th, 2015



Scottish start-up Shot Scope announced today that it has received investment of £415,000 to launch its wearable performance tracking technology for golfers to the US and UK markets.

Business angel syndicate Equity Gap led the deal and was joined by two other investors, the Scottish Investment Bank – the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise – and the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture capital fund, Old College Capital.

Shot Scope will use the investment to build its team, complete product development and start manufacturing ahead of launch in January 2016 at the global golf industry’s annual gathering, the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.

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Aimed at golfers of all levels who want to improve their performance, Shot Scope’s patent pending technology automatically collects scoring and statistical data as a golfer plays. On completion of a round, data is uploaded to the Shot Scope website or mobile app where statistics, analytics and maps detailing every shot are displayed in a graphical user interface.

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Aquila Insight scoops key players from Co-operative and Acxiom as it scales up for growth

July 12th, 2015



The UK’s fastest growing data analytics company, Aquila Insight, today announced appointments in two newly created senior roles as it gears up for further rapid expansion in the second half of 2015.

Neil Carden joins from the Co-operative Group as director of business development, with Matt Hollingsworth leaving data specialists Acxiom to take a leading role as general manager of Aquila Insight’s growing London office.

Carden is a consumer and commercial heavyweight who has seen first-hand the power of evidence based decision making in a retail setting. As Insight Director at the Co-operative Group he developed its customer proposition through customer research and analysis, customer targeting and the measurement of marketing effectiveness.

Prior to joining the Co-operative Group, Carden held senior roles at a number of major companies including KPMG where he worked with UK banks to make investment decisions and deliver technical and culture change programmes. And at MasterCard he was responsible for the development of its consulting, information products and managed services businesses in the UK and Ireland as well as creating and leading its information and analytics proposition in Europe.

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CodeClan Scotland’s first digital software skills academy to open its doors in September

July 11th, 2015

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An ambitious plan to create Scotland’s first dedicated software skills academy is revealed today. Its aim is to produce wave after wave of software developers ready for work every 10 weeks, with the first cohort graduating in February 2016.

CodeClan, a coding school for web and mobile software development, is based on the success of the new breed of immersive academies around the world including Flatiron School in New York, Makers in London and Stackademy in Berlin.

The aim is to create a new generation of software developers that will allow Scotland’s vibrant digital sector to flourish and drive the economy. CodeClan will draw on an untapped resource of talented individuals who have an aptitude for coding but need a route into the industry.

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Funding boost for language app: Babbel raises $22 million

July 10th, 2015

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Global online language learning market leader completes Series C round and secures SEP as new investor

July 8th 2015, New York/Berlin – Babbel, the leading app for language learning, today announces the successful completion of $22 million investment round to drive further growth. The round is led by Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) and supported by existing investors Reed Elsevier Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), and VC Fonds Technology Berlin managed by IBB Bet.

The investment will add momentum to the company’s impressive growth, while ensuring the continuation of its cutting-edge product development. Babbel has been profitable since 2011, with its mobile app now seeing up to 120,000 downloads per day. As the highest grossing language-learning app in both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, Babbel operates a subscription-based business model with a clear focus on consumers outside the realm of formal education. With its recently released app for Apple Watch, the company presents a strong vision for the future of language learning.



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Aridhia announces revolutionary mini-app technology to accelerate clinical application development following RStudio collaboration

July 10th, 2015



Aridhia enhances AnalytiXagility data innovation platform with rapid prototyping technology from the leading “R” language tools provider RStudio to accelerate the translation of precision medicine and biomedical research into clinical practice.

Aridhia, the pioneering clinical and translational informatics company, today announced a revolutionary “mini-app” rapid development solution specifically for clinical applications. The solution integrates the RStudio Shiny web application framework and Shiny Server Pro secure, performant application deployment platform to enhance AnalytiXagility’s collaborative workspaces.

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FanDuel Four Time Winners as ScotlandIS honours Scotland’s digital stars

June 18th, 2015

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ScotlandIS, the trade body for the digital technologies industry, today announced the winners of the fifth annual Digital Technology Awards.

The cream of Scotland’s digital technology companies attended the sold out event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 18 June, which celebrated the continuing success of the sector.

The big winners on the night were FanDuel who scooped four awards including the much-coveted Digital Technology Business of the Year gong, beating off competition from Edge Testing Solutions, Kotikan and Cooper Software to do so.

FanDuel were recognised for their exponential growth and success since starting in 2009. The Edinburgh based online fantasy sports technology business, which trades largely in North America, now has 225 employees in Scotland and the US. FanDuel also took the prize for Best B2C Technology Product/Service and Investment Deal of the Year, and were joint winners in the Outstanding Marketing Performance by a Tech company on the night.

Polly Purvis, Lesley Eccles and FanDuel team

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Aridhia’s Data Science Platform Used in €6 Million EU Project

June 17th, 2015



Aridhia’s data science platform AnalytiXagility has been chosen to underpin a €6 million oral healthcare innovation project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and the funding win demonstrates huge confidence in Aridhia’s data analytics capability.

During the four-year project, known as ADVOCATE, the Edinburgh-based company will work with 10 partners spanning academia, healthcare and industry across six EU states, to deliver an innovative, evidence-based oral healthcare model which optimises oral health and wellbeing.

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Investment of £1.2 million for renewable energy business Sunamp

May 22nd, 2015

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Sunamp Ltd, the renewable energy and heat storage business, announced today that it has received over £1.2 million of investment from private equity investors, in a two stage round led by Par Equity and Equity Gap. Investors include former SSE Chief Executive, Ian Marchant.

Sunamp designs and produces innovative heat storage batteries that help overcome the issue of energy wastage by storing excess energy as heat for later use. The company, which is based in East Lothian, was founded by successful technology entrepreneur, Andrew Bissell, and to date has been funded by a mixture of grants, loans and private investment.

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Abcodia secures funding of £5.25 million ($8m) to launch the ROCA® test for the early detection of ovarian cancer

May 18th, 2015

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• Two new investors, Cambridge Innovative Capital and Scottish Equity Partners join existing investors Albion Ventures and UCLB

• The investment enables the launch of the ROCA® test in US and UK in 2015, as well as the establishment of a US presence

Abcodia today announced that it has raised £5.25 million funding from existing and new investors to bring the world’s most sensitive and specific ovarian cancer screening test, ROCA® to market.

The financing was co-led by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), who join existing investors Albion Ventures and UCL Business. Dr Robert Tansley, from CIC and Jan Rutherford, from SEP have been appointed to Abcodia’s Board.

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