• Dunstaffnage peninsula in the spring with our buildings in the background
    blue background
    Quality of life and a thriving business...
    for tenants at SAMS' European Centre for Marine Biotechnology
  • Photo showing an empty laboratory that could be rented
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    Bespoke office & lab space available
  • Photo of the outside of our main research building that hosts most tenants
    Seven commercial tenants rent space at SAMS

Companies can rent office and laboratory space at SAMS: currently 14 businesses rent space here. Additionally, SAMS supports three virtual tenants.

Most tenants rent space in our incubator, the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology, which in a wing of SAMS' main research building. Tenants can make use of SAMS' reception services, access to the excellent infrastructure at SAMS and benefit from the co-location with SAMS scientists, students and networks. They are also on the European Marine Science Park campus and included in site-wide initiatives.

Anyone interested in becoming a tenant should contact Nicola Cook in the first instance:

E: nicola.cook@sams.ac.uk

T: +44 (0) 1631 559 245


If you rent space in a building owned and operated by the Scottish Association for Marine Science, SAMS will charge a rent depending on the standard of the rooms and the surrounding facilities. These will vary between the Sir John Murray Building (including the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology), the Sheina Marshall Building, the SAMS research aquarium, the Hebrides Building and the Rockall Building. VAT is not charged for the SJM/ECMB/SM buildings, but is charged for occupancy of the Hebrides and Rockall Buildings. The exact fit-out of the rented facility will be discussed and agreed between SAMS and each tenant.

  • >John Murray building, ECMB, aquarium
  • >Sheina Marshall building


Service charge

When tenants rent space at SAMS they also have access to a range of services and are thus liable to a service charge. All service charges attract VAT payment. For paying the service charge, tenants have the following benefits:

  • >joined reception and mail sorting facilities (staffed Mon – Fri 0830 – 1715)
  • >free access to SAMS facilities including toilets, kitchen facilities, a café in the Ocean Explorer Centre and a part-time staffed library
  • >signage
  • >free parking, subject to space on first-come-first-served basis
  • >security
  • >WiFi
  • >building insurance
  • >building maintenance
  • >electricity usage in offices
  • >cleaning of communal areas
  • >free use of ECMB meeting room (ECMB tenants)
  • >reduced rate on use of meeting and conference facilities at SAMS, which include excellent video conferencing facilities. Meeting and conference facilities can seat from 4 to 100 delegates. Our caterers are happy to quote for a range of options.


Additional services not included in rent / service charge

  • >Electricity – if a tenant rents only office space, service charge includes electricity. Tenants with labs, workshops or other facilities will be invoiced for the electricity they use.
  • >Telephones including serviced switchboard: £10 per handset + phone bills; we can provide voicemail for £5 per mailbox.
  • >Cleaning: the cleaning of shared spaces is included in the service charge but cleaning of the rented space is the responsibility of the tenant. If you want to hire SAMS cleaners, this costs an additional £10 per hour and it is up to the tenant to decide how much cleaning to contract in.
  • >Access to SAMS research infrastructure: please discuss your requirements
  • >Photocopying and printing: tenants can pay for access to SAMS photocopying and printing facilities (SAMS can print up to A0 and banners) – you will be invoiced for usage
  • >IT and communications support: please discuss your requirements (SAMS has high bandwidth IT connection provided by the UK University ISP Janet).


Additional free benefits for SAMS tenants

  • >access to SAMS seminars and events
  • >access to expertise from a range of professionals from science, education, management, HR, H&S, IT, communications, marketing etc
  • >networking opportunities
  • >opportunities to develop joint projects with SAMS staff and students
  • >opportunity to engage with SAMS students as interns, for projects or as p/t staff
  • >part of the internal email system provides information on accommodation, sporting and cultural activities as well as monthly charity bake sales
  • >opportunity to join active social life on site including staff organised lunchtime sports classes

We offer occasional virtual tenancies mostly to new companies who want to become tenants at SAMS when their business is more mature. Occasionally we also accommodate bigger businesses to enable them to expand their activities in Scotland.


Virtual tenancy

  • >Use of European Centre for Marine Biotechnology postal address
  • >Pigeon hole for post mail
  • >Access pass for SAMS facilities to collect mail and messages Mon – Fri 0845 – 1709
  • >Forwarding mail to another postal address (recharges for postage will be added)
  • >Telephone number with remote access voicemail can be arranged (additional charges)
  • >Photocopying (additional charges)
  • >Meeting room space available to hire by the hour with use of AV and VC capabilities if required
  • >Free access to SAMS seminars and library
  • >Free use of SAMS Wi-Fi
  • >Inclusion in site-wide email messages possible


A virtual tenancy will be regulated via an exchange of a letter signed by both parties.

The following are some of our tenant companies

BBC Alba - hosting BBC journalists covering the west of Scotland for the BBC's Gaelic channel.

Crubag - marine science is beautiful textile and fashion design.

Cuan Tec - blue biotech company making compostable, antimicrobial bioplastic from waste of the fisheries industry.

Pharmaq Analytiq Limited - aquaculture health provider - local office.

MacDonald & Cameron – Project Management Consultancy specialising in new build housing.

Lallemand Aquapharm - selection and screening of marine organisms.

Shaw's Law - law firm

Bakkarfrost Scotland - salmon farming business.

Tritonia Scientific Ltd - scientific and commercial diving and recompression services (formerly National Facility for Scientific Diving).

University of the Highlands and Islands


Virtual tenants

OTAQ - technology company for aquaculture, fisheries and renewables industries.

Sezanne Marine - marine engineers.


Tenants based at SAMS or at the wider European Marine Science Park can access a range of our services and equipment.

Please contact our commercial subsidiary SRSL for quotes (Email us: info@srsl.com).

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

Seawater trace metal analysis by SeaFAST ICP-MS

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry using Laser Ablation (LA-ICP-MS)

Piccaro L2130 Oxygen Isotope Mass Spectrometer

Carbon and Nitrogen Elemental Analyser

Inorganic Nutrient Autoanalyser

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (for measuring algal polysaccharides and photosysnthetic pigments in biological and sediment samples)

Gas Chromatography (trace gas analysis)

Gas Chromatography (analysis of lipids)

Total Carbon Analyser (DIC, TA)

Total Organic Carbon Analyser

Automated Nitrogen Carbon Analysis for Gas, Solids and Liquids (ANCA-GSL)


Taxonomic phytoplankton analysis

Strain isolation

Axenicity testing

Culture media

Strain biobanking

Algal patent deposit service


Pigment / lipid / protein / carbohydrate analysis

Culture Optimisation

Mass culture and harvesting of bacteria and algae

Advice on access and benefit sharing (Nagoya Protocol)

Shipping biological samples




  • >Inverted and standard Zeiss with LED/Halogen/Fluorescence illumination and image capture / analysis
  • >SEM
  • >Zeiss confocal

Flow cytometer and coulter counter

Plate readers

Algem bioreactors

Illuminated constant temperature rooms and incubators for culturing algae and other organisms with temp ranges 0-37oC

Laminar flow hoods

Cryopreservation facilities

Fermentation equipment

Centrifugation and filtration equipment


Molecular taxonomy, including 16S and 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing

Bacterial and algal bioinformatics

In situ hybridisation


1D protein electrophoresis



Thermal cyclers for PCR and qPCR

UV-Vis Nanodrop low-volume spectrophotometer

1 and 2D protein gel electrophoresis

Absorbance / fluorescence / luminescence plate readers

Micro and general centrifuges (including refrigerated)