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Funding available for businesses and organisations working in the bioeconomy in Scotland

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Recent industrial biotechnology successes in Scotland include the creation of vodka from potatoes not suitable for the supermarket (Ogilvy Spirits) and turning nano-fibres from root vegetables into a paint thickener (CelluComp).

On 19 October the Scottish Government announced a £1.5 million funding opportunity for businesses and research institutions working in industrial biotechnology, food and drink, and the wider bioeconomy.

The funding opportunity, highlighted during an address by Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, to delegates at the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy Conference 2016 in Glasgow, has been created by Zero Waste Scotland in partnership with the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC). It includes funding from the European Regional Development Fund to support innovative work that will help deliver circular economy growth.

The partnership is intended to encourage collaboration between business and research to drive forward transformative projects in the industrial biotechnology and bioeconomy areas. Projects may help reduce waste and provide added value opportunities for the food and drink sector in Scotland.

Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said:
“We want Scotland to be recognised as an international leader in the sustainable use of our biological resources, and I am pleased to say that Scotland is already home to a number of innovative businesses. With this in mind, I am delighted to announce a further £1.5 million from Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy Investment Fund and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, to support collaborative projects between business and research institutions that will help to further develop Scotland’s bio economy.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said: “The bioeconomy has a key role to play in creating a more sustainable future where we use resources in the most efficient way and reduce waste. This is an area of growth for Scotland’s economy and this funding is intended to support transformative projects.”

Scotland is already home to pioneering companies working in this area. These include CelluComp, a company turning nano fibres from root vegetables into an environmentally friendly thickener for paint and Ogilvy Spirits, which is making vodka from potatoes not suitable for the supermarket.

Funding may be awarded to bioeconomy projects led by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and supported by Scotland’s academic talent; or to projects led by SMEs to progress innovative projects themselves or as part of a collaboration.

Roger Kilburn, CEO, IBioIC said:
“We are delighted to be working with Zero Waste Scotland on this call. With a wealth of opportunities, we are confident that we will see many industrially led projects that link industrial biotechnology with the circular economy.”

For more information and to apply to access the Bioeconomy Accelerator, people should go to www.ibioic.com. The deadline for outline project proposals is 19th December 2016.

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