Chemical sciences and industrial biotechnology
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Industrial biotechnology

Looking for sustainable, high-value manufacturing?

Our industrial biotechnology expertise and capabilities are showing the way.

Our approach accelerates collaboration between government, industry and academia.

Like the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC). A catalyst for academics and industry, with expertise, resources and facilities for speeding up and de-risking commercially-viable, sustainable solutions.

Increasingly, local IB-based companies serve international clients, using talent from our universities. And we've ample feedstock too.

Finally, our connections will help, as will financial incentives.

IB Engineer GSK

Right here, right now

50 companies using IB as a product, process or service.

Here are a few example companies and what they do:

  • CelluComp opened Scotland's first biorefinery plant, transforming a vegetable by-product that would normally go to waste into household items like paint
  • Celtic Renewables turns by-products of whisky production into biobutanol biofuel
  • Prasinotech is the first company making polysaccharide products from microalgae
  • Marine Biopolymers specialises in the multi-component extraction of natural polymers from seaweed
  • Xanthella provides photo-bioreactors for growing algae

Scotland has readily-available feedstocks, substantial infrastructure, and highly-skilled workforce.

CEO, IBioIC - Roger Kilburn



Case study

Powering cars with the world's first 'whisky fuel'

View more on Powering cars with the world's first 'whisky fuel'
Chemical worker 2


Scotland's top spots for industrial biotechnology

View more on Scotland's top spots for industrial biotechnology
Chemicals lab worker


Going big on biorefining in Scotland

View more on Going big on biorefining in Scotland

Scotland has a wealth of synthetic biology talent

The highest density of synthetic biology practitioners outside of London.

Our talent spans Universities from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. Plus James Hutton and Roslin Institutes. All well-versed in commercialising R&D. Their synthetic biology tools cross a range of organisms: bacteria, yeast, fungi, plants and animals. All could be translated into supporting human health, crop and livestock development. The very latest tool is the UK's first fully-automated, large-scale DNA production facility - Edinburgh's Genome Foundry.

Glasgow University lab workers

Rich in natural biomass sources for biorefining

Not to mention serviced locations, feedstocks, plus the right skills.

Not surprisingly, three of our focus areas are developing bio-refineries from woody biomass, commercial by-products and and marine products such as micro and macro algae. Why not contact us to discuss biorefining here?

Contact us

Trees in forest

Who’s already working here?

A snapshot of our synthetic biology expertise.

There are around 60 companies in Scotland utilising synthetic biology or providing the necessary tools. And a growing list providing synthetic biology services to international clients.

Ingenza Ltd. has over 25 years’ experience manufacturing enhanced biofuels, the sustainable manufacture of chemicals and production of protein therapeutics.

Synpromics is the leading developer of synthetic promoters to reduce gene screening from years to months.

Biotangents designs and builds biological pathways to enable sustainable and stable production of desirable natural materials. The optimum solutions to the challenges of biological pathway engineering.

Connect to everyone and everything that matters

We'll find the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

From first business idea to final product, we can help with connections to government, academia and business, as well as financial incentives, expertise and market insight. To find out more, get in touch.

Contact us here

Invest in Scotland

Financial support in Scotland

We can help you find the right funding to support your project.

  • Funding to secure jobs
  • Financial support for innovation and R&D
  • Venture capital, loans and equity funding 
  • 16 designated Enterprise Areas 

Scotland's competitive advantage and our tailored package of financial support will help your investment in Scotland thrive. This will allow you to make the most of our talented workforce, our innovative universities, our thriving business angel community and our low business costs.

Financial support for your investment

Industrial biotechnology

Talk to us about tax credits, grants and other incentives.

- Sharon McKendry, International Head of Life and Chemical Sciences.

From penicillin to MRI scanners, Scotland has always been a leader in R&D. Biotechnology is no exception. By bringing the key drivers of innovation, government, industry and academia together, Scotland can certainly work for you too. With over 40 offices in around 20 countries globally, why not tell us about your business so a specialist can help.

Get in touch now