Scottish fund supports biotechnology spin-outs

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) has launched a Spin-Out Support Programme to provide funding for the commercialisation of industrial biotechnology concepts and the creation of spin-outs, helping drive the growth of Scotland’s bioeconomy.

Funding will support researchers at Scottish universities to progress bio-based research and establish new companies, within two years of the grant being awarded. The innovation centre will directly support proof-of-concept projects that provide the evidence needed to turn ideas into investor-friendly products and services – a crucial stepping-stone towards launching a spin-out – as well as bolstering the diversity of the sectors associated with industrial biotechnology.

The new fund will support Scotland’s progress towards reaching the targets set out in the National Plan for Industrial Biotechnology ahead of schedule. The plan outlined a goal of achieving £900 million in associated turnover and more than 200 companies active in industrial biotechnology by 2025 – the latest update shows associated turnover surpassed £747 million.

Researchers are invited to apply for up to £20,000, or one-third of a total project value, with proposals focused on global challenges that can be solved with bio-based products or technology. Selected projects, and the resulting spin-out companies, will also be offered one year’s free membership with IBioIC to access further support, training opportunities and guidance.

IBioIC said that building a successful bioeconomy will play a key role in helping Scotland to reach its net-zero ambition, with emerging technologies enabling the creation of materials and consumer goods and pharmaceuticals from bio-based alternatives to petrochemicals.

Liz Fletcher, Director of Business Engagement and Operations at IBioIC, said: “There is much more to industrial biotechnology than its links with the chemicals industry and we are keen to support proposals across a breadth of sectors and applications. Spin-out companies could operate in a wide variety of sectors, ranging from food and drink, textiles, construction to healthcare, vaccine development or marine and aquaculture. We are keen to engage with researchers at the earliest possible stage of the funding application and work together to develop ideas and create strong proposals for funding that can ultimately fuel successful new businesses.”

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