Business engagement

The School of Biology supports commercial spin outs and has strong associations with businesses.  This page gives details of spin outs, patents, and funding expertise.

Details of some of our spin out companies are listed below.


Genuswave is a spin out company from the University of St Andrews. Genuswave offers species-specific acoustic deterrent devices for use on fish farms, industrial installations and fisheries operations. Genuswave devices can also be used to move marine mammals of any species out of areas where they may be at danger such as during pile driving or risk of stranding.

Middle-banners-new-3SA Instrumentation

Decimus revolutionises marine mammal research and monitoring by providing a high quality tool that sends acoustic data, in real time back to SMRU Ltd, 24/7.

Decimus is built on the widely used software PAMGUARD, the leading solution for passive acoustic monitoring for the oil and gas industry. Decimus was at first wholly owned and developed by SMRU Ltd. Ownership was transferred to SA Instrumentation Ltd (SAIL), a sister company of SMRU Ltd and a subsiduary of SOI Group.

logo-soiSOI Ltd

SOI Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of St Andrews and is closely associated with the Scottish Oceans Institute. In SOI Ltd’s first five years the company returned over half a million pounds of commercial research income to the University.

SOI Ltd aims to facilitate the interactions of commercial interests and the expertise and facilities of the The Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews. The Scottish Oceans Institute is an interdisciplinary research institute studying the marine environment which forms a key focus for research excellence in marine-related science.


SMRU-ConsultingSMRU Consulting

SMRU Consulting is a global leader in marine mammal consultancy and research, delivering innovative, robust and environmentally sound solutions to clients active in the marine environment. Staff have extensive experience in carrying out research into many facets of marine mammal biology.



Xelect Ltd is a spin out company from the University of St Andrews in Scotland providing genetic services for aquaculture, conservation and environmental monitoring.



Members of the School of Biology hold a wide portfolio of patents, in areas ranging from marine biology expertise, through novel biophotonics applications to new potential therapeutic treatments. Examples of these areas are listed below.

If you are interested in any of these patents then please contact the director of research ( and/or Dr Ewan Chirnside ( Also please see the University’s Knowledge Transfer website.

Title Patents
Acoustic deterrence CA2684573A1, EP2144498A1, US8665670, US20100110838, US20130021877, WO2008129313A1, US 8289812 B2
Cell poration US 20130113140 A1; CA2795498A1, EP2556149A1, WO2011124899A1
Microfluidic photoporation EP2723859A1, US20140073027, WO2012175918A1; CA 2839988 A1
Optical transfection CA2801671A1, EP2580337A2, WO2011154710A2, WO2011154710A3, US 20130164828 A1
Three dimensional structure of paramyxovirus hemagglutinin-neuraminidases and use thereof WO 2002010459 A3, US20020081572, WO2002010459A2 G
Carbohydrate binding molecules CN102215871A, US20110269670, EP2344196A1, WO2010029312A1 G.
Methods and compounds for inhibiting glycosyltransferases WO 2011137528 A1, EP2566876A1, EP2566876A4
Natural composition for combatting fungi CA2236223A1, CA2236223C, DE69613485D1, DE69613485T2, WO1997016973A2, WO1997016973A3, US 5888504 A
Anti-microbial compositions comprising a cationic peptide and a glycylglycine endopeptidase DE602007007069D1, EP2004215A1, EP2004215B1, US20090130185, WO2007113499A1, US 7943128 B2
Anti-fungal therapy EP2337574A2, WO2010032011A2, WO2010032011A3, WO2010032011A8, US 20110281788 A1

As can be seen from theSchool’s research portfolio, within the School of Biology, we have wide ranging expertise and experience in obtaining funding from many different sources.  This includes national and international academic and industrial funding streams. We have many staff who have recent or current experience sitting on funding panels of various research councils and charities including:

For more information please contact the director of research (