The University of Manchester set to put the north-west on the biotech map with coalition launch

The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Catalyst (IBIC), launched by The University of Manchester today [9 May] establishes the north-west of England as a global leader in biotechnology innovation, boosting job creation, collaboration, investment and upskilling in the region.

The project leverages a £5 million investment from the EPSRC ’s Place-Based Impact Acceleration Account to stimulate innovation and commercial growth. The IBIC will give businesses and start-ups a platform to engage with higher education institutions, governmental organisations and researchers in the north-west, and support translating fundamental biotechnology research from the lab to the real world.

The IBIC launches at a significant time for the UK’s biotechnology market. The UK Government’s focus on biotechnology and new £5 million sandbox fund signal increasing interest in the sector, which was valued at £21.8billion in 2023, according to IBISWorld.

Professor Aline Miller, Professor of Biomolecular Engineering and Associate Dean for Business Engagement and Innovation at The University of Manchester, said: "Combine academic research with industrial application, and together we can yield transformative outcomes for both our economy and environment.

"With the launch of the IBIC, we are inviting businesses and startups to join us as we take on global challenges like climate change and sustainability. To do that, we need to create a vibrant ecosystem of interconnected disciplines to help scale businesses, bring research to life and ultimately deliver huge economic benefits to the north-west and beyond."

This invitation extends particularly to SMEs, high-growth biotech companies, and other businesses interested in contributing to and benefiting from a thriving biotechnology industry in the north-west.

Companies interested in participating or learning more about the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Catalyst can contact the IBIC team at ibic@manchester.ac.uk