The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) is pleased to announce the launch of an industry-led funding call for UK and international research projects which utilise the synthetic biology research capabilities of Scottish universities. Launched at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in San Diego, the Synthetic Biology Accelerator led by IBioIC, offers funding for projects with a total value of up to £500,000 ($750,000) that demonstrate a defined market need and commercial opportunity in SynBio and work collaboratively between industry and the academic base in Scotland.

With the highest density of synthetic biology practitioners in the UK outside London, Scotland has a wealth of academic talent spanning across the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, St Andrews and Heriot Watt. This coupled with world-class facilities, a strong infrastructure and connectivity between academia and industry, means that Scotland is well placed to maximise the benefits and opportunities the sector presents for realising societal and economic impact, and technology development.

Professor Susan Rosser, Chair in Synthetic Biology at the University of Edinburgh and Director of the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology, commented: “Over the past three years the UK has benefited from substantial investment in synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology (IB) making us one of the best locations globally to do research and development. With over £50M of investment in synthetic biology, the University of Edinburgh is one of the UK’s leading centres for synthetic biology research and translation and has an extensive track record of working with industry. In addition, IBioIC has been a cornerstone of Scotland’s national plan to grow its IB sector through facilitating interactions between its research and industry base. We are delighted to be here in San Diego to represent the wealth of synthetic biology research ongoing in Scotland and are excited at the opportunity afforded by the Accelerator call to build on existing, as well as develop new, international collaborations.”

Roger Kilburn, Chief Executive Officer of IBioIC, commented: “This is an exciting programme for IBioIC that allows us to showcase our indigenous academic talent in Synthetic Biology. Our expectation is this Accelerator Programme will lead to enhanced economic, social or reputation benefits for Scotland”.

IBioIC seeks projects that can meet the following criteria:

1. The Project must articulate an economic, societal or reputational benefit to Scotland, either through benefit to industry or through providing an IP-based advantage to Scotland.

2. The Project must demonstrate clear market need/commercial opportunity that is met by the innovative use or application of synthetic biology.

3. The Project must be championed and led by an IBioIC Industrial Member and should include at least one of IBioIC’s HEI Partners. The Project may consist of any number of Industrial Members and HEI Partners.

4. The Project will preferably illustrate that it can be completed to its key commercial milestones within 24 months of its start date.

Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 29 July 2016

Closing date: Friday 12 August 2016