Skip to main content

£2m investment opens door to expansion at marine park

PatoGen operations manager Anita Eriksson, left, and project manager Siv Høgberg Iversen in the new lab. Photo: Teresa Garzon / PatoGen.
PatoGen operations manager Anita Eriksson, left, and project manager Siv Høgberg Iversen in the new lab. Photo: Teresa Garzon / PatoGen.

Four companies with links to aquaculture are expanding into new workspace at the European Marine Science Park (EMPS) at Dunstaffnage near Oban following a £2 million fit-out of the ground floor of the park’s Malin House by developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Fish health and diagnostics company PatoGen, specialist diving services company Tritonia Scientific Ltd, seaweed products developer Oceanium and Shetland-headquartered marine engineering and electronics firm Ocean Kinetics have all leased space on the ground floor.

PatoGenLtd has set up a laboratory to offer the same services to salmon farmers as its parent company, PatoGen AS, does in Norway.

Clean energy storage

Ocean Kinetics is leading a 12-month project to research and develop a clean energy storage system for fish farms, recharged from renewable energy at the shore via a lightweight subsea cable.

Tritonia uses 3D photogrammetry to combine photos or videos of structures, including fish farms, into 3D, highly accurate visual computer models. Also, its low-tide aerial drone surveys can produce photogrammetric maps of broad-scale intertidal aquaculture resources such as oyster farms.

Oceanium focuses on processing sustainably farmed seaweed to extract maximum value from the whole plant.

Additional space

Malin House was completed in 2012, initially with only the first floor fitted out. This is home to 10 marine sector companies, active in a broad range of commercial marine activity.

The further fit-out investment was prompted by companies at the park expressing the need for additional office and laboratory space to enable them to expand their commercial activity, said HIE in a press release.

The new laboratories and offices were designed in consultation with those companies and the work was carried out by local contractor, TSL Limited.

Teresa Garzon: New laboratory.
Teresa Garzon: New laboratory.

Next stage

Dr Teresa Garzon, key account manager with PatoGen Ltd, said: “We have been working in Scotland since 2014 and established our office at the EMSP in Oban in August 2018.

“Since we entered the Scottish market, we have collaborated well with aquaculture firms and seen a steady increase in activity. Our new laboratory in the excellent new facilities at Malin House is now in operation and represents the next stage in our company’s growth.”

Marine economy

Morag Goodfellow, HIE’s area manager for Argyll and the Islands, said: “We’re very pleased to have completed the fit-out of Malin House, which is enabling marine-based companies to expand.

“Argyll’s rich marine resource has created and maintained significant economic opportunity for generations and these latest company expansions demonstrate how innovation and technology is continuing to drive the marine economy in the region.

“We can expect new opportunities in skills development and entrepreneurship, particularly for young people, and enhanced confidence in Argyll as a business location for inward investors.”

More expansion

As part of a further £2.77m investment at EMSP by HIE, TSL Ltd is also working on groundworks, road development and car parking provision for three more buildings. Planning consent is already in place for one of those, said HIE.

TSL and HIE have been working with neighbours of the site and authorities such as Scottish Water to advance the project while funding from Sustrans is being used to create a pedestrian and cycle lane to allow even greater access.