BIOTECH FIRM Roslin Technologies has appointed a new chief executive with a specific remit to commercialise its 'cutting-edge' technologies – including stem cells for cultivated meat production and genomic breeding techniques.

Roslin Technologies – which works closely with the Roslin Institute, home of the world-famous cloned sheep Dolly – has appointed Ernst van Orsouw, who was global director of strategy and marketing for Genus Ltd's Pig Improvement Company, to lead the company as it takes these techniques to market.

Mr van Orsouw takes over from Roslin executive director and founder Glen Illing, as the company moves from developing technological innovations to deploying them through sales and partnership agreements.

A short-term focus for the company will be securing commercial agreements from cultivated meat companies reportedly eager to use its growing portfolio of stem cell lines to 'ensure that the world can meet growing protein demands whilst protecting against the environmental impact of increased food production'.

Mr van Orsouw said: “Roslin Technologies is the jewel in the crown of Scottish and British agribusiness, and I am excited to join at this stage in the company’s growth. Over the last few years, the company has built a world-class scientific platform that can fundamentally disrupt key areas of the AgTech industry.

“The commercial potential of Roslin Technologies’ offerings can now be brought to market, from proprietary stem cell lines for cultivated meat and animal health, to genomic breeding programmes for insects and traditional livestock.”

Chairman of the board of Roslin Technologies, Prof. Andy Porter, commented: “As a global company, we undertook an extensive worldwide search for the right person to lead the next exciting stage of growth. Ernst, with his deep understanding of the sector and multiple connections around the world, is ideally placed to enable Roslin Technologies to reach its undoubted potential as a global influencer; capable of matching food production levels needed to feed a global population with the critical requirement to achieve this goal, without placing undue burden on our precious natural environment.

“With the academic backing of the Roslin Institute and the University of Edinburgh, we can now focus on commercialising the technologies we have developed, which will help shape the future-food ecosystem, and allow us to produce food in a responsible way.”