New GBP1.7m centre to boost Scotland's biotech capabilities



The new Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre

Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh Campus is home to one of two new centres supported by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC).

This bioprocessing centre will focus on supporting and developing biotechnology projects that are ready to scale up, and need the facilities to trial this at commercial level before investment. Known as FlexBio, the Flexible Downstream Bioprocessing Centre fills the current UK-wide gap in the provision of scale-up facilities at this size and provides many services that cannot be found elsewhere in Europe.

Heriot-Watt University not only hosts the centre, but is also an academic partner. Dr Nik Willoughby, from the University's Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics & Bioengineering, is the lead at Heriot-Watt.

The new IBioIC will be a centre for collaboration between leading life science research experts...
Dr Nik Willoughby

IBioIC will cover all types of industrial bioprocessing such as therapeutic antibodies, skin care products, commodity chemicals and bio fuels.

Ian Archer, Technical Director at IBioIC stated: “The centre opens a wealth of possibility for industry in Scotland and the wider UK and we would like to encourage applications to use the centre from every sector. There will be a technical team available to help non-experts fully utilise the centre, so we hope to see some truly unique and cutting-edge projects come from the facility.”

Dr Willoughby said, “Industrial biotechnology is a rapidly growing sector within Scotland; it's expected to bring £900m extra to the Scottish economy by 2025. The new IBioIC will be a centre for collaboration between leading life science research experts from across Scotland, and a welcome resource for organisations seeking to test and commercialise bioprocesses in the UK.”