News Column

Warm Welcome for New Biotechnology Innovation Centre

February 10, 2014



MELBOURNE, Australia, Feb. 10 -- The Institution of Chemical Engineers issued the following news release:

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has welcomed the creation of a new innovation centre for industrial biotechnology (IB) to be hosted at the UK's University of Strathclyde.

The centre will create 1,500 jobs over the next five years and is being funded by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). The Centre aims to bring together researchers from academia with backers from the private sector. It has 13 academic partners, including the universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen as well as Heriot Watt University. From the industrial side, its members include GSK, Ineos and Sasol.

The centre is to be chaired by former IChemE president Ian Shott, who was asked by the UK Government during his presidential year in 2009-2010 to prepare a major report into the economic potential of industrial or "white" biotechnology.

Shott was also chair of the Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum before stepping down last year. Shott said: "We aim to surpass the targets set by Scotland's national plan for industrial biotechnology by raising the estimated turnover of industrial biotechnology-related products from around Pounds190 million currently, to between Pounds2bn and Pounds3bn by 2030."

IB involves the use of biological substances, systems and processes to produce intermediate and final products such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, materials and energy - both cost-effectively and with minimal adverse environmental impact.

Though the industry is still in its early stages, it is estimated that the global market for IB will be worth Pounds150bn-360bn by 2025, of which $4bn-12bn will be in the UK.

IChemE's chief executive, Dr David Brown, said: "Scotland is home to a large and talented chemical engineering community which has helped to promote the importance of biotechnology and its economic importance.

"The new innovation centre, which is supported by a strong partnership and package of investment, is warmly welcomed by IChemE and we look forward to giving it our full support."

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Source: Targeted News Service


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