ENP Newswire - 21 August 2014
Release date- 20082014 - The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), hosted at the University of Strathclyde, has raised a total of GBP2.7 million to establish two bioprocessing centres that will contribute towards its aim to generate at least GBP1billion in GVA (gross value added) for the Scottish economy by 2025.
The total funding package includes GBP1.8m from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), with an additional GBP0.9m being invested by the University of Strathclyde and Heriot-Watt University, which will each host a centre.
IBioIC will establish two centres, the Rapid Bioprocess Prototyping Centre and the Flexible Downstream Bioprocessing Centre. These have been proposed in response to identified industrial needs and shaped with IBioIC's knowledge of national and international capabilities.
The Rapid Bioprocess Prototyping Centre will be based at the University of Strathclyde and will receive GBP670,000 from SFC, with Strathclyde contributing a further GBP350,000 to establish the centre. It will provide a facility where companies or Scottish HEIs can rigorously and quickly assess the potential of new cell lines, bio-products or novel approaches to bioprocessing, in terms of industrial potential. This has been identified as a significant gap in the future development of IB based processes in Scotland.
This centre will be operational by the end of this year.
Professor Brian McNeil of the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, a member of IBioIC's Governing Board, said 'This facility will open up many new significant opportunities for IBioIC and the Scottish industrial biotechnology sector as a whole. It will enable us to accelerate the research of new products and their progress to commercial development; just as importantly, it will help us to deliver economic benefits, new products and urgently-needed new treatments'.
The industrially attractive new cell lines and bio-products can feed into the new Flexible Downstream Bioprocessing Centre, based at Heriot-Watt University, for turning into full scale manufacturing processes. This Centre will receive GBP1.13m from SFC, with the University contributing a further GBP555,000 to fully establish the centre. There is a widely acknowledged national gap in access to highly flexible, integrated facilities at this scale (15-100 litre) on a single site. The Centre will be operational within 12 months.
Laurence Howells, chief executive of SFC, said: 'SFC is pleased to add GBP14 million to its investment in Innovation Centres for state-of-the-art equipment. The centres' work will have real impact - better healthcare and medicine for our families; more sustainable food through improved fish farming; more energy-efficient homes through developments in construction.
'Through the Innovation Centres, research from our world-leading universities is helping industry develop new products and processes that will benefit our day-to-day living.'
Roger Kilburn, CEO of IBIoIC, said: 'We are delighted to have this investment in these bioprocessing centres. They will be important to support the GBP30m research programme planned by IBioIC over the next five years.
'They will provide opportunities for Scotland to increase its competitiveness in developing novel and economically viable bioprocesses to manufacture a range of both commodity and specialty chemicals'.