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Do you have an idea for a blog post that you'd like to share with us and our network?
Get in touch and send us your ideas: ashley.jackson@ibioic.com 

20 April 2017

By CK Group

CK Group release 2017 engineering industry trends infographic

CK recently performed extensive research with engineers working within the life science industries to compare against our 2013 research results. This benchmarking helped us to identify new trends and the changing expectations around salaries and benefits. We conducted this research with subscribers of The Engineer, our own... Read more...

19 April 2017

By Susanne Boyle

IBioIC's Skills for Industry Day returns for 3rd year

Your input is required. The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre’s (IBioIC) annual Skills for Industry Day returns on Friday 5th May in Glasgow to work in close consultation with attendees around the future of its skills programme and CPD training provision within the IB sector.

As an attendee, you will bring an all-important ‘voice’ to the event helping to shape the educational needs of the IB industry to ensure the availability of a skilled workforce.

IBioIC was set up to help drive the creation of 1500 jobs and boost Scotland’s... Read more...

29 March 2017

By Wendy Pring

Water, water everywhere but less and less to drink…

The IB meets water event was KCP’s first experience of an IBioIC organized event, having recently joined as industrial members.  This event covered the vast array of areas where we can manage our water resources in a more socially, environmentally and symbiotic way. From the DEEP project by Glenmorangie to the requests for innovation from GSK and their WWTW partners Anglian Water, the topic of the day was ‘IB Meets Water’ and the importance of innovation in protecting, harnessing and extracting... Read more...

20 March 2017

By James Cameron

Unlocking the value of our seaweed

Marine Biotechnology is an exciting opportunity for Scotland. An area within this space that is attracting increasing interest and is especially relevant to Scotland is algae. Globally, algae both macro (seaweed) and micro are being seen as a potential feedstock for a bio-based economy. In a bid to grow the Scottish Marine Biotechnology economy Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have identified and developed an exciting proposition- The Marine Bioprocessing Centre – a facility to stimulate the sector and ensure we sustainably maximise the potential of our natural resources. Read more...

24 January

By Alison Hunter

Scotland’s IB Future in the context of Brexit: strengthening the industry’s voice

Following the UK referendum vote to leave the EU, industry awaits UK Government details on the impact this will have on future business – specifically trading and investment, as well as the shape and direction of a forthcoming Industrial Strategy to provide support to growth sectors of the UK economy. Bearing in mind that one is not a substitute for – and nor does it cancel out the effects... Read more...

11 January

By Daniel Miles-Barrett 

Towards greener processing of lignin 

Following two recent publications in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry, PhD student Daniel Miles-Barrett summarises his research on sustainable processing of lignin. 

Lignin, the second most abundant biopolymer on the planet, may soon become a highly reliable source of aromatic platform chemicals. To achieve this, the move away from old pulping processes to new lignocellulosic biomass biorefineries is already underway, aiming to utilise all components of the product and waste... Read more...

05 January

By Mark Turner

Encouraging a world-leading bioeconomy

Mark Turner, Deputy Director of Agri-tech, Bioeconomy and Chemicals (ACE) team, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK 

It was great to see the Industry Strategy Challenge Fund being announced at the Autumn statement and particularly encouraging to see IB being specifically exampled as the kind of innovation that Government is keen to support. The UK is rich in quality academic and industry resources to make IB a key sector for our economy. This new investment opportunity is a chance for us to add further support to developing and growing a range of IB technologies and applications and we will be working with industry... Read more...

04 January

By Irene Finnegan

Irene from Verdant Bioproducts talks about her session topic at IBioIC's Annual Conference later on in January

There is a lot of carbon dioxide and low grade heat available at industrial sites out there just begging to be used. Micro-organisms are the ideal route to put the two together and make something useful.  New routes of bacterial carbon dioxide fixation are regularly being un-covered as well as the end products of their efforts. Photosynthesis is the best known route of carbon dioxide fixation, but photosynthetic bacteria can make whole range of other useful chemicals. Take ethylene for example, 1.5-3.0 tons of carbon dioxide are generated per ton of ethylene made from fossil fuel. If you... Read more...

16 December 2016

By Adrian Higson

Bioeconomy Innovation – More than just technology development

Read about Adrian's session topic at IBioIC's Annual Conference in January.

Innovation drives economic growth and business resilience, however too often innovation is considered solely in the context of technical development. A far more complicated series of actions is required to transform an invention or scientific discovery into a product or process which provides value, in other words an innovation.

For manufacturing industries including biorefining and industrial biotechnology, this means implementing a process which produces a product for sale, therefore generating value from commercial revenue... Read more...

09 December 2016

By Smitha Hegde 

How bacteria cope with Osmotic Shock

Following publication in the leading Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ph.D. student Smitha Hegde summarises her team’s research on bacterial osmoregulation

Research from the lab of Dr Teuta Pilizota from the University of Edinburgh has elucidated how bacteria manage to stay in control of their pressure and cell volume when placed in environments with low osmolarity. This insight could help better understand the behaviour of microbes in industrial biotech processing or... Read more...

08 December 2016

A Successful collaberation through the IBioIC network

The benefits of the IBioIC network have been demonstrated once again as Sasol UK and the CK Group worked on a recruitment project to provide SASOL with a new member of staff.  The project wasn’t a collaboration made traditionally through IBioIC between academic and industrial partners, but is a good example of how the wider IBioIC network can work in a wider context.

Outlining how the collaboration came to fruition, Bob Tooze, Managing Director at Sasol UK said.“The Sasol UK Ltd operation... Read more...

05 December 2016


Investigating the potential of bacteriophages to control microbially influenced corrosion

The growth of microbes within bioflms contributes to serious issues in oilfield systems, including reservoir souring and corrosion. Current methods of biofilm control within the oil and gas industry include physical removal and treatment with chemical biocides. Although these methods can be effective, incomplete biofilm removal, or poor diffusion of chemical into the biofilm can allow regrowth to occur once treatment has stopped. Consequently a new, more effective... Read more...

01 December 2016

By Ashley Kubis

How the United Kingdom is Emerging as a Global Leader in Synthetic Biology

There are countless forces that the UK synbio industry has to thank for the influx of startups that have taken root there. One being SynbiCITE, whose mission is to the serve as a bridge between the spheres of academia and business to accelerate the translation of synbio technology from research to reality is influencing change across the UK. IndieBio, whose European arm is located in Cork, Ireland... Read more...

18 October 2016

By IBioIC Biotechnology YES Team

Biotechnology YES 2016

Hear about IBioIC MSc students Matthew Hooper, Annabel Serpico, Marcus Price and Charlotte Lilley's experience competing at Biotechnology YES!

We arrived in Nottingham the night before the start of the Biotechnology YES Biosciences heat. Having previously made plans for the workshop, we knew what we needed to achieve in the 2 days we had to work and develop our idea, but didn’t appreciate how intricate some of these ideas would... Read more...

05 October 2016

By Jude Huggan

SynBioBeta Day 1 – From Scooby snack sandwiches to biosecurity SynBioBeta had us covered

Jude tells us about Day 1 at SynBioBeta San Francisco 2016: 04 - 06 October 2016

Having landed in San Francisco only the evening before we were surprisingly chipper for the first morning of SynBioBeta (#SBBSF16) and arrived at the South San Francisco Conference Centre in good spirits.  There was a massive queue forming outside as registration was a bit slow so we sneaked in the back entrance brandishing our wares, insisting we were OK to skip the ever increasing queue as we were exhibitors.  Salon A duly found, we located our table – thanks to JC at SynbiCITE for hosting – and set... Read more...

06 October 2016

By Jude Huggan

SynBioBeta Day 2 – Biotech regulation processes – what can the UK learn from the US?

SynBioBeta San Francisco 2016: 04 - 06 October 2016

The 2nd day of SynBioBeta (#SBBSF16) had a hard act to follow after a fantastic first day and it didn’t disappoint, if anything I though day 2 was better than day 1.  Day 2 began with a cosy fireside chat on synthetic biology in China with John Cumbers (SynBioBeta), Amy Liao (Genewiz) and Sean Simpson (Lanzatech), discussing the latest developments to come out of China, what the investment and technology landscapes are like and what the big challenges... Read more... 

30 September 2016

By Luca Dalponte

An eco-friendly approach to drug design

Following publication in leading Chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, PhD student Luca Dalponte summarises his research progress to date.

Proteins are the second major component of the human body and take part to the most important functions of the cells. Some recently identified therapeutic targets, such as protein-protein interactions are very challenging for drug design and are involved in many difficult-to-treat diseases and devastating conditions, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Cyclic peptides are very efficient in modulating protein-protein interactions, but are difficult to synthesise or modify. Our group has... Read more...

09 September 2016

By Siobhán Jordan

Biotech is transforming business

Siobhán Jordan, Director, Interface - September 2016

Looking back to my student days of my undergraduate course in Industrial Biotechnology in Dublin City University, little did I know then that two decades later I would be writing a blog on the subject!

My esteemed lecturers were in no doubt as to the credentials of the discipline; rudimentary industrial biotechnology dates back to at least 6000 B.C. when Neolithic cultures fermented grapes to make wine, and Babylonians used microbial yeasts to make beer. Over time, mankind's knowledge of fermentation increased, enabling the production of cheese, yogurt, vinegar, and other food... Read more..

02 September 2016

By Olivia Robson

My time as an Intern at IBioIC

Olivia Robson, our summer Intern, looks back on her time at IBioIC - September 2016

My time as an Intern for IBioIC is sadly coming to an end, but I’ve learnt a lot of things that will stick with me. Over the last 9 weeks I’ve been fortunate enough to learn about the inner workings of the industrial biotechnology sector, and how IBioIC are helping to drive innovation into the Scottish Bioeconomy.

My first task was a marketing report, researching 40 bio-based chemical producers and biotechnology providers around the world. This opened my eyes to the massive global industry that IB is and some of the markets it inhabits, which was really interesting... Read more...

19 July 2016

By Megan Beattie

Improving social mobility for young people in the UK

Megan Beattie from the Social Mobility Foundation talks about their aspirations to inspire young people into STEM careers - July 2016

The issue of social mobility is one which has been widely covered in the press during recent times – for example, in Brexit Britain. The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) is a charity which aims to make a practical improvement in social mobility for young people in the UK from low-income backgrounds – this year, we are supporting over 1,200 students on our Aspiring Professionals Programme.... Read more...

16 June 2016

By Susanne Boyle

Fuelling the Imagination of the Next Generation

Series of STEM Engagement Events with Scottish FE Colleges - June 2016

From rocket cars to food as fuel these events provided an ideal platform to raise awareness of industrial biotechnology and the myriad of STEM career paths available.The Big Bang events were organised as part of the Bloodhound project, attracted pupils and teachers from more than 20 secondary schools and clearly had the pupils excited about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Through the rocket car competition pupils experienced the impact of engineering and aeronautical design on performance whilst the IBioIC STEM... Read more...

15 June 2016

By Sophie Cassidy

Learning the ABCs of IBioIC

Sophie Cassidy is IBioIC's new Intern! Read about the highlights of her first week!

My first week at IBioIC has been both enjoyable and enlightening.

On the first day I received a very warm welcome from the team as I embarked on my 12-week internship. Commencing with the morning ‘Stand up’ each team member describes their tasks and goals for the day. This was very insightful as it provided me... Read more...

26 May 2016

By Susanne Boyle

STEM Incubator to CPD Hothouse Activities

IBioIC Skills for Industry Day 2016 (SFID2016) - Glasgow, 4 May 2016 

The challenge was to keep this annual event  relevant and fresh for a diverse delegate population actively recruited from Schools, College, Universities and Industry, some of whom were complete novices to the IBioIC SFID events whilst other were participating for the third time. The presentations provided an excellent introduction to the workshops and were well received, particularly the contributions from Ingenza which provided... Read more...

18 April 2016

By Susanne Boyle

All Things Carrots: Fishing Rods to Ice Cream But Don’t Share The Secret Recipe!

Pupil Engagement at Al Qalam Academy, Glasgow, 18 April 2016

Following on from the IBioIC exhibit at STEM Scotland 2016 I was delighted to accept an invitation from curriculum staff at Al Qalam Primary School to speak to the composite P5/P6 class about Biotechnology.

I was greeted with a warm welcome by staff and pupils alike but I still had a few nagging doubts as I took to the floor:

Did I have enough...


23 May 2016

Scotland's Innovation Centres: Driving Industry Led Innovation

Innovation is key in shaping Scotland’s competitive advantage. When people decide to innovate, things change for the better. Businesses prosper, academic knowledge advances, quality of life improves, and Scotland’s economy benefits. This innovation can take many forms: a new product or... Read more...


06 April 2016

By Susanne Boyle & Kimberley Jolly

Challenging, Stimulating and Thought-Provoking- #STEMSCOTLAND 2016

STEM Scotland 2016 - Edinburgh, 17 March 2016

Having resided south of the border and publicly extolled the virtues of the Wood Commission report and the merits of School- College – University - Industry partnerships as a means of developing Scotland’s Young workforce it was with bated breath that I awaited the views of Angela Constance (MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning) and the reactions... Read more...

05 April 2016

By Roger Kilburn

Biochar Workshop

Birmingham, 22 March 2016

I was recently invited to give a key note talk at a one day bio-char workshop at Aston University. I was pleasantly surprised at the turn out given the specialised nature of the event. Over 80 academics and indsutrialists attended in fairly even numbers. It was a noisy, energising... Read more...

23 March 2016

By Jude Huggan

Process Understanding - tricks of the trade!

IBioIC/Britest Workshop - 18 March 2016

A brilliant afternoon was spent at the IBioIC office on Friday.  How, I hear you ask?  Our good friends (and network members) Britest were in town showcasing their tools for effective process understanding to a select group of IBioIC industry and academic partners.  Can these positive discussions... Read more...

04 March 2016

By Ashley Jackson

It was like I was in event heaven

International Confex - London, March 2016

Having just about recovered from the madness of our 2nd Annual Conference, Realising the Opportunity, this month I journeyed to London to attend International Confex 2016 which promised to uncover a world of ideas and ‘power my event brilliance’.
Could that even be possible? I asked myself…

February 2016

By Roger Kilburn

Unfair Competition

Chemistry & Industry publication 

Biology is very good at putting carbon and oxygen together in complex molecules in a way that chemistry isn’t. Synthesising glucose in a chemistry laboratory, for example, is not easy. Molecules with a high oxygen content lend themselves to being produced by fermentation, the simplest example being ethanol.

It is not a huge leap to see ethanol replacing ethylene as a platform chemical. In fact, there are some examples of this already happening: in 2010, Braskem... Read more...

February 2016

By Ian Archer

Realising the Opportunity: Session 3 

Synthetic Biology

The first track of our technical session focused on Synthetic Biology.

Professor Susan Rosser of Edinburgh University (rosser.bio.ed.ac.uk) chaired the session and gave the opening presentation: a review of recent work from her group and collaborators followed by a whistle-stop tour of other researchers within the SynthSys group at Edinburgh. Susan began by describing the new Edinburgh Genome Foundry of which she is co-director along with Patrick Cai. The Foundry will specialize in the synthesis... Read more... 

01 February 2016

By Paul Hudman

Realising the Opportunity: Session 2

How IBioIC has helped our business grow

The uniqueness of IBioIC focuses on technical expertise, linking the IB community and providing the tools for success. Session two at this year’s Annual Conference served as a brilliant platform for IBioICʼs members to see the value of these three areas for their business through highlighting interesting member success stories and outcomes from project funding. SMEs such as Glycomar and big multinationals like GSK came together to show the brilliant reach and scope of IBioIC’s membership. Read more...

29 January 2016

By David Turley

IBioIC's 2nd Annual Conference, Realising the Opportunity: Session 5

Navigating the "Valley of Death" for Bio-refinery concepts

In reviews of issues affecting the exploitation of innovative industrial biotechnology concepts and technologies, gaining access to pilot scale facilities at reasonable cost is commonly cited as a barrier to development. Read more...

28 January 2016

By Michael Roberts

IBioIC's 2nd Annual Conference, Realising the Opportunity: Session 3 

Synthetic Biology

Promoters play a key role in any application within the biotechnology sector; from developing improved bioprocesses for expression of biologics in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, engineering enhanced enzymatic pathways in chassis organisms to enable high value chemical production, through to the development... Read more...

28 January 2016

By Jim Philp

IBioIC's 2nd Annual Conference, Realising the Opportunity: Session 1

IB Heads Up - What's happening around the world

Industrial biotechnology has one major difference compared to other fields of biotechnology that is highly relevant to policy makers. The ultimate goal of industrial biotechnology is the biorefinery, and the most popular concept is the integrated biorefinery. These are high-cost, high-risk enterprises... Read more... 

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