About Industrial Biotechnology
Industrial Biotechnology (IB) is the use of biological sources to produce or process materials, chemicals or energy. For example, plants can be processed to produce biofuels or plastics as an alternative to crude oil, algae strains could be used in cosmetics or chemicals extracted from marine life to replace synthetics. Industrial Biotechnology also impacts on the sustainability of Scotland’s food and drink supply chain minimising waste, maximising production methods and protecting our environment.
IBioIC is a specialist in the Industrial Biotechnology (IB) sector, designed to stimulate the growth of the IB sector in Scotland to £900 million by 2025. The Centre is a connector between industry, academia and government, investing in and facilitating access to expertise, equipment and education in order to grow the industry into a powerhouse of Scotland’s economy.
IBioIC announced their 100th Member, a milestone that marks a significant step in the growth of the UK IB market. Through innovations in Industrial Biotechnology and based on current growth rates, it is estimated that by 2025, the UK industrial biotechnology market will be worth up to £12 billion.
Industrial biotechnology is changing the world, transitioning products and processes from being petrochemical-based to bio-based. This forward-looking sector offers young people with an interest in science opportunities for exciting jobs and careers.
IBioIC have produced an interesting infographic to show how everything we use in our daily lives can be reimagined using IB processes so that we are more sustainable, leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and waste generation. Examples include:
• Prawn shells being used to make environmentally friendly and antimicrobial cling film
• Timber residues used to make natural food flavourings, including vanilla
• Methane, a natural gas, converted into high quality protein animal feed
• Waste bread and potato starch used in medicine manufacturing
• Bi-products from whiskey manufacturing used to make fuel, feed and even nanoparticles for electronics
• Genetically modified mosquitoes used to battle Zika virus, Dengue fever and Malaria
Some of the UK’s best-untapped resources for IB are carbon dioxide, agricultural wastes, municipal waste – heading to the landfill, seaweed and timber waste. It is because of these feedstocks and the high-level of academic expertise that the UK, and in particular Scotland, is attracting investment from around the world.