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IBTI Club: Background

Research supporting the development of biological, chemical and engineering processes for the production of chemicals, materials and polymers to replace petro-chemical derived sources has been identified as an area where increased investment in research is required to underpin the needs of industry.

To meet this need we launched a research and technology club in partnership with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, industry and the Bioscience for Business Knowledge Transfer Network (now Biosciences KTN). The club will interface with the KTN's wider activities in industrial biotechnology and will invest around £6M (BBSRC £4M, EPSRC £1.2M, Industry £660K) in industrially relevant, innovative, basic biological, chemical and engineering research in biorefining technologies.

The initiative will run for 5 years and will have 3 calls for proposals.

The club will provide a means to combine relevant academic expertise to work on innovative, multidisciplinary, scientific areas of relevance to industry. An integral feature of the club's operation will be the delivery of efficient mechanisms to facilitate the dissemination of research outcomes to club members and support effective networking and community building between academic groups and the companies involved.

An academic-facing and an industrial-focussed coordinator will enable the networking and dissemination aspects of the Club's activities.

Abstracts from the first and second calls are available in the downloads section of this page.


The club currently has 10 company members:

  • Biocaldol Ltd
  • BP Biofuels UK Ltd
  • British Sugar Plc
  • Croda Enterprises Ltd
  • Green Biologics Ltd
  • HGCA
  • InCrops
  • KWS UK Ltd
  • Syngenta Ltd
  • TMO Renewables Ltd

Steering Group and management

The Steering Group is composed of a Chair, 7 industry members, nominated by the industry membership, and 7 academic members, nominated by BBSRC. The current Steering Group is:


Peter Fryer, University of Birmingham

Industry members

  • Damian Kelly, Croda
  • Dave Hughes, Syngenta
  • Ian Tebble, TMO Renewables Ltd
  • Harley Stoddart, HGCA
  • Peter Werner, KWS UK
  • Preben Krabben, Green Biologics Ltd
  • Namdar Baghaei-Yazdi, Biocaldol Ltd

Academic members

  • Alexei Lapkin, The University of Warwick
  • James Clark, The University of York
  • Mike Bushell, University of Surrey
  • Rob Edwards, The University of York
  • Simon McQueen–Mason, The University of York
  • Jonathan Napier, Rothamsted Research
  • Gill Stephens, The University of Manchester


The club will be more that the sum of the research projects which it funds and will lead to the development of innovative biorefining technologies to feed into demonstration projects and establish new capabilities for industry. Companies participating in the club will benefit directly through:

  • Influencing research areas supported by the club
  • Gaining up-to-date knowledge on the progress of research and early access to results
  • Opportunities to work with leading researchers
  • Opportunities to identify the best potential industry recruits
  • Promotion of the clubs activities, objectives and outputs and recognition for companies involvement

For academic researchers the benefits include:

  • Opportunities to interact with industry
  • Access to industrial expertise and materials
  • A targeted source of research funding

External contact

Professor Christopher Knowles, IBTI Club Academic Coordinator