The Biotechnology team at Innovate UK Business Connect focuses on Industrial Biotechnology (IB), Engineering Biology (EB, commonly referred to as Synthetic Biology) and Microbiomes.

These technologies have the potential to carry out transformations which would not be feasible, technically or economically, using traditional chemistry. They hold the potential to make entirely new materials or to develop processes which run at low or ambient temperatures, thus reducing energy consumption. Consequently they can have a major impact in the UK’s move to Net Zero emissions.

The team works with all sectors that either use, or are interested in using, biotechnology in their business, in particular Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Home & Personal Care, AgroChemicals, Food and Drink – and many more.

Our experts use deep knowledge of the sector to help you and your business innovate through access to funding, expertise and building connections and collaborations. The team works closely with national bodies such as the Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF) and the Engineering Biology Leadership Council (EBLC).

Follow us on Twitter: @KTN_Biotech

Our current focus in this area

Engineering Biology (EngBio) provides us with the opportunity to step away from traditional methods and provide innovative solutions for challenges brought by climate change and the associated impact areas, like food availability and the need for sustainable feedstocks.

Similar to Engineering Biology, Industrial Biotech impacts numerous sectors including Chemistry, Materials, Healthcare and AgriFood. It also has a significant role in the development of a Circular Economy by using waste as a feedstock for biobased products.

The Microbiome Innovation Network (formerly SIG) aims to accelerate the commercialisation of microbiome-based products and services in the UK and create a vibrant community by connecting industry and academia.

Related Opportunities

DASA Competition: Small, Lightweight Trace Explosives Detector

Opens: 01/02/2024 Closes: 09/04/2024

DASA seeks novel, lightweight bioassay systems with novel transduction platforms for the detection of trace explosives.

More Information

Innovation Exchange challenge: Innovations to Produce Sustainable, Biobased MDA for the Manufacture of PEEK

Opens: 01/02/2024 Closes: 15/03/2024

Victrex is seeking innovative solutions to produce sustainable biobased MDA (4,4’-methylene dianiline), a precursor in the PEEK manufacturing process.

More Information

Mobile Evidential Drug Testing Instrument (MEDTI) Demonstrator

Opens: 19/02/2024 Closes: 16/04/2024

The DfT are seeking innovations to develop roadside evidential drug testing capability to enable effective enforcement of drug driving offending.

More Information

Global Business Innovation Programme in the USA - Engineering Biology & Industrial Biotechnology

Opens: 27/02/2024 Closes: 13/03/2024

Innovate UK seeks companies with expertise in Engineering Biology & Translational Industrial Biotechnology to join our programme in San Jose, California.

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Royal Society Industry Fellowships, February 2024

Opens: 14/02/2024 Closes: 10/04/2024

The Industry Fellowships enable the mobility of talented scientists and engineers from industry and academia in order to move between the sectors.

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Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2024 to 2025 Round 1

Opens: 13/02/2024 Closes: 10/04/2024

UK registered academic institutions, RTOs or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £9 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not for profits.

More Information

Related Events and Recordings


Mission Innovation: Integrated Biorefineries programme

12.00 - 14.00 GMT | Online

Watch now

UK Phage Innovation Showcase

09.30 - 16.30 | Leicester/online

Watch now
See all events

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For general enquiries regarding our Biotechnology sector contact us now


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