A new fund has been launched by the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) to enable biotech companies to access specialist facilities, equipment and resources.
IBioIC’s Facilities Access Fund will allow businesses to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to support critical research and development projects. The funding is believed to be the first of its kind available to the sector.
The initiative has been specifically designed to ease and encourage access to Scottish university-based facilities – including IBioIC’s two Scale-Up Centres – that are critical to the development of new bio-based processes and materials.
Projects must be led by an industrial partner and can cover a range of biotechnology applications such as biorefining, food and drink, biomanufacturing, waste management, textiles and agritech. The grants will enable companies to secure timely access to the facilities and expertise vital to expediting innovations.
Companies looking to access the fund are invited to get in touch with IBioIC to discuss their application in the first instance, before having their submission assessed on its economic contribution, technical viability, and additional benefits for Scotland such as job creation or environmental impact.
Liz Fletcher, director of business engagement at IBioIC, said: “By enabling companies to access the unique and world class facilities, equipment and expertise across Scotland’s universities that are critical to research and development, we can help to expand Scotland’s bioeconomy as we head towards 2045 net-zero targets. Developing bio-based alternatives represents an important step in our move away from petrochemicals and carbon intensive feedstocks and will make manufacturing much more sustainable across a range of sectors. This fund is designed to support companies looking to unlock these opportunities by leveraging local assets.
“We know that our members – particularly SMEs – have been calling for support of this kind which can often be one of the costliest elements of an innovation project. We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes from future projects supported through the new fund.”