Industrial Biotechnology in Scotland

Industrial Biotechnology (IB) is still in its infancy in Scotland, but the foundations for a strong and vibrant industry are there. With Chemical Sciences as an already established large strategic asset, a growing Life Science sector and an appetite of government for expansion of Renewable energy and sustainable technology, the market drivers are in place. This has been recognised in The National Plan for Industrial Biotechnology published in 2013 which sets out targets for the delivery of a more established industry with associated increase in revenues and headcount by the year 2025.

Much has been made of the country’s unique landscape and wealth of natural resource being available for feedstocks but there are well established industries, facilities and academic knowledge which also set us apart. As well as some multinational organisations active in IB, Scotland has a number of innovative SMEs which are starting to develop clusters centred on well-known academic centres of excellence and working in a more collaborative capacity with Universities than ever before. It is this knowledge transfer to both small and large business that will drive growth in the industry, allowing companies already familiar with the benefits of IB processes to expand their remit within their operation and companies not currently utilising biological processes to understand the disruptive power of this technology.

The IBioIC has outlined five key themes (below) that would be adopted as the initial areas of focus for the centre and the success of IB development in Scotland.



Using sustainable biomass to replace fossil fuels.


Enzymes and Biocatalysts

To increase the use of biocatalysts/enzymes for new product development and efficiency benefits.

Cell Factory Construction

Develop facilities for optimisation of new strains.


Downstream Processing

The development of products to get easily recoverable product streams.


Integrated Bioprocessing

Full utilisation of raw materials and production of several co products.

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