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Scotland is gearing up to host the 2016 European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy (EFIB). SDI will be attending, alongside Scotland’s leading IB companies, at the Scotland Pavilion.

Coast kelp biotech

EFIB is the leading event for the biotechnology and biobased industries, providing a fantastic opportunity to network with senior decision makers throughout the supply chain. Staged in Glasgow from 18-20 October, the forum will welcome industry executives, decision makers and investors from across Europe.

The biological revolution

The UK IB market currently includes over 129 companies, with an annual turnover of over £4 billion. These companies have grown rapidly – since 2010 their joint turnover has leapt by 53%, with an increase of 21% in the number of jobs. 

Thanks to Scotland’s strong heritage in engineering, and wealth of natural resources, the level of IB development and investment here is particularly high. Add in world-class academics, strong, IBiolC-backed industry and university partnerships, and the stage is set for further rapid expansion.

This is an excellent win for Scotland and for our industrial biotechnology sector. It's a major opportunity to welcome European collaboration, partnership and investment.

Caroline Strain, head of chemical sciences at Scottish Enterprise.

Spirit of enterprise

Scotland is already setting the pace when it comes to IB innovation and growth. Edinburgh-based Celtic Renewables won an £11 million UK Government grant to help develop advanced biofuels from the residues of the whisky industry. 

Professor Martin Tangney, the company’s founder and president, plans to create Europe’s first new acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) plant. 

The process, which uses bacterial fermentation to produce advanced biofuels from carbohydrates such as starch and glucose, was devised in the UK at the start of the last century. It was phased-out in the 1960s due to competition from the petrochemical industry. The company will use the funding to build a biofuel facility producing at least 1 million litres of biofuel.

Centre stage for business

Scottish Development International’s dedicated IB experts will be on hand at the EFIB Scotland Pavilion to advise on existing and new opportunities in the sector.

SDI will also organise site visits to Scotland’s existing IB hubs at Grangemouth and Irvine, giving you a chance to see the cutting-edge technology, skills and capacity on offer.

EFIB 2016 will feature high profile speakers, as well as extensive exhibition and networking opportunities with CEOs and policy makers. The event will also provide significant opportunities for future collaborative projects between Scottish and European organisations and institutions.

There needs to be a long-term change so that industry leaders begin to think of bio-based solutions as a way forward, as a way to innovate processes, technologies and products.

Roger Kilburn, IBiolC CEO

Big players

One of the major backers of EFIB 2016 is Scotland’s Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBiolC). IBiolC, with sites at both Herriot-Watt and Strathclyde Universities, aims to generate at least £1 billion GVA for the Scottish economy by 2025. 

Roger Kilburn, CEO of IBiolC: “The UK industrial biotechnology sector is growing year on year, and Scottish companies are at the forefront of this movement. We are delighted to bring EFIB to Glasgow, providing excellent business opportunities for the Scottish economy and demonstrating how innovative we are as a nation.”

Future fibres

One example of that changing mind-set is CelluComp. This local company uses sugar beet waste to manufacture an innovative ‘green’ material to rival carbon fibre. 

Invented and developed locally, their ‘Curran®’ nano-fibre was first made using carrot pulp. It’s an eco-friendly alternative to man-made variants that can release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.

Curran® - the Gaelic word for ‘carrot’ - is twice as strong as carbon fibre and holds promise for a wide range of industrial and technological applications. Capable of locking moisture into anything from food to cosmetics to concrete, it’s already finding a host of new applications across a variety of industry sectors.

The host city

Glasgow is building a reputation as a centre of excellence for biotechnology.

Home to five top class universities, producing a stream of high quality graduates, the city is one of the UK’s top 10 for attracting inward investment (2016 EY Scotland Attractiveness survey).

Glasgow, SDI, and Team Scotland look forward to welcoming you to the city for EFIB 2016.

Contact us to arrange a meeting at EFIB