The company that commercialises the scientific work of the James Hutton Institute (JHI) saw UK innovation grant income fall by almost half in the year to March 31 2017.
The annual report for James Hutton Ltd (JHL) shows income from Innovate UK, the UK Government’s research and innovation funders, fell 48% to £696,000 from £1,339,000 the year before. This poorer success in winning grants contributed to a fall in business turnover to £3,835,000 from £4,134,000 previously.
However the Invergowrie-based company’s operating profit was up £207,000 on the year to £603,000.
JHL, a subsidiary of JHI, comprises three strategic business units which are responsible for turning the intellectual property and expertise of Institute scientists into commercial services, licences and products in the agricultural, environmental and oil and gas sector.
The annual report reveals that income from contract research and consultancy services was down due to a lower success rate with Innovate UK proposals together with a delayed start to two approved projects.
The report states the year’s results reflect a “very competitive” environment for contract tenders.
Meanwhile plant breeding services and the licensing of plant variety rights brought in £1,235,000 compared to £1,498,000 the previous year. The 17.5% drop in income was attributed to the termination of a long-term breeding contract and the loss of significant revenues from Glen Lyon raspberry plant variety rights which have expired.
Income from JHL’s analytical services business saw an increase in income to £1,837,000 from £1,124,000 before, which the company says is largely due to the recovery in the oil and gas market and growth in the lipids division.