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Industrial Biotechnology (IB) Catalyst

The funders have no immediate plans for a further round of IB Catalyst. This is following a review of individual Delivery Plans and budget allocations. The first four rounds of Catalyst funding will be reviewed as they progress, and the funders remain committed to supporting the development of the UK industrial biotechnology sector while future funding for the Catalyst is explored.

The IB Catalyst supports research and development into the processing and production of materials, chemicals (including pharmaceutical precursors and biopharmaceuticals) and bioenergy, as well as the development and commercialisation of innovative IB processes to manufacture a wide range of existing and new products through collaborative and non-collaborative research grants.

We have identified industrial biotechnology and bioenergy as high-level priority areas in our Strategic Plan 2010-2015 The Age of Bioscience. We are working with a number of different sponsors to support the development of a high quality cross-disciplinary community, interact with users and meet societal needs.

With joint funding from Innovate UK, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and BBSRC, the IB Catalyst has committed over £75M in projects spanning the five challenge areas below.

Challenge areas

  • Production of fine and speciality chemicals and natural products (e.g. fragrances, flavours, pharmaceutical intermediates)
  • Production of commodity, platform and intermediate chemicals and materials (e.g. plastics, resins, silks)
  • Production of liquid and gaseous biofuels
  • Production of peptides and proteins (e.g. enzymes, antibiotics, recombinant biologics)
  • Novel or improved upstream or downstream processes to reduce costs or improve efficiency in industrial biotechnology applications

Funding streams

More detailed information can be found on the IB Catalyst funding page.

Several types of award have been available to support research at different stages:

Monitoring and support

As IB Catalyst Coordinator, Adrian Higson will be available to support the development of IB related research projects and provide direction relating to the funding opportunities across BBSRC, EPSRC and Innovate UK. The IB Catalyst Coordinator is also responsible for the monitoring of the ongoing development of the Translation Stream grants.