SCOTLAND’S Industrial Biotechnology Centre (IBioIC) has welcomed its first science and innovation park into the fray.
The addition of Discovery Park, based in Sandwich, Kent, is hoped to cement the centre’s ambition as a beacon of excellence in the field.
It comes as the English firm look to fulfil their commitment to engage with the UK’s growing industrial biotechnology (IB) community.
As the world strives for more sustainable options to combat climate change, IB can play a crucial role.
At the very heart of net zero ambitions, it provides green alternatives to fossil fuels, whether it be for energy, medicine or food sources.
Discovery Park hosts 160 companies, including anchor tenant Pfizer, who collaborated with BioNTech to produce one of the world’s leading Covid-19 vaccines.
While also engaging with local academics to further expertise, the Kent site has also been attracting a growing cluster of IB companies.
The latest addition is vertical farming company GrowUp, who use 95% less water than conventional growing methods and are investing £100m at Discovery Park.
Chief Business Officer at Discovery Park, Jane Kennedy said: “The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre has undoubtedly done a fantastic job of catalysing the growth of the sector in Scotland.
“The membership will also help us to become the centre of excellence in the South East for industrial biotechnology, aiming to deliver thousands of new jobs and economic growth for the region
It will in turn give IBioIC the opportunity to work with new companies active in biotechnology and help grow its ecosystem and encourage further investment in the sector. We look forward to collaborating with the team at IBioIC.”
Headquartered in Glasgow, the IBioIC is a networking and support organisation looking to bring industry, academia and government together to propel biotechnology forward.
Mark Bustard, CEO of iBioIC, said: “The innovation centre plays an important role in supporting the growth of the UK’s bioeconomy, connecting industry partners with world-leading research teams to explore alternative bio-based materials and processes across a range of sectors.
“Almost £30 million of additional industry investment has been generated as a direct result of IBioIC innovation activities to date, contributing to more than 3,000 high-value green jobs.”