Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF)

IBLF provides strategic coordination of the UK’s fast growing Industrial Biotechnology sector by a forum of active participants from industry, the research community, public access scale-up facilities, funding agencies, government and other key stakeholders.

The UK Government established the IBLF to provide a steering structure and governance body to assess progress, update recommendations and shape priorities for the growth of the UK’s bioeconomy.

IBLF provides a visible point for strategic coordination between industry (from large corporates to SMEs), the research community, public access scale-up facilities, funding agencies, government and other key stakeholders.

Secretariat of the IBLF is provided by Innovate UK Business Connect: for more information on our work in biotechnology, click here.

Why is Industrial Biotechnology important?

To achieve the UK government’s ambitious net-zero by 2050 goal, progress is required across all sectors of the economy. Harnessing nature and biologically derived products and processes is crucial to providing significant societal and economic benefits alongside reducing carbon emissions.

There are four key pillars underpinning Industrial Biotechnology:

  1. Bio-based raw material inputs often instead of the use of oil and gas.
  2. Cells and plants as biological factories.
  3. Enzymes as incredible specific catalysts in the industrial processes of the future.
  4. The Microbiome, harnessing micro-organisms in end-uses such as the improvement of human gut health.

The shift towards the Industrial Biotechnology revolution is being accelerated by the ground breaking technology of Engineering Biology(EB) which sits at the convergence of genomics, data science and other disciplines. EB has benefitted from significant increases in computing power, the growing capabilities of machine learning and AI, and the decreasing cost of DNA synthesis and sequencing.

This technology is already delivering robust and resilient clean economic growth across many applications and is contributing to UK policies including Net Zero, moving to a circular economy and improving biodiversity. It already provides low-cost biofuels, superior vaccines, diagnostic tools, renewable chemicals, biodegradable materials, high yielding pest-resistant crops, low impact crop protection and novel foods including meat substitutes. This progress provides a foundation to deliver robust and resilient economic growth whilst achieving Net Zero.

Infographic showing the IBLF's work in concentric circles, with lab-based activities such as engineering biology at the centre, and practical real-world applications such as biofuels on the outer ring.

Who is part of the Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum?

The Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF) is jointly chaired by Paul Mines (interim). The Secretariat is provided by a member of Innovate UK Business Connect’s Industrial Biotechnology team (currently Dana Heldt).

Membership of the IBLF is reviewed annually. Stakeholders from the community who wish to be considered should make their interest known to the Secretariat.

Members of the IBLF include:
Paul Mines – Biome Technologies
Steve Bagshaw – Fujifilm Diosynth
Andrew Hagan – World Council on IB
Catherine Julia Mort – Innovate UK Business Connect
Colin Miles UKRI BBSRC
Dana Heldt – Innovate UK Business Connect
Edward Green – Chain Biotech
Jen Vanderhoven – National Horizon Centre
Joe Ross – Biorenewables Development Centre
John Barret – Independent Consultant
John Runnacles – Lucite
Justine Fosh – Cogent Skills
Kris Wadrop – CPI
Mark Oakes – DiT
Neil Perry – Unilever
Will Barton – Oxford Biotrans
Will Cannon – Croda
Yvonne Armitage – CPI (formerly at KTN)
Rod Sears – Black Biocatalysts Ltd
Alan Shaw – Calysta
Alexandra Amey – UKRI BBSRC
Claudia Flavell – While IChemE
Paul Bello – Innovate UK
John R Williams – Sinvestec
Lucy Nattrass – Afry
Matthew Hodges – Oxford Biotrans
Matthew Bycroft – Dr Reddys
Mark Bustard – IBioIC
Ian Fotheringham – Ingenza
Tim Davies – Corteva
Richard Bailey – UKRI EPSRC
Paul Booth – Tees Valley Unlimited
Tim Ingmire – Quorn

Rohan Kemp – BEIS
Dehaja Senanayake – BEIS
Mike Hill – BEIS

Sponsors and Partners:
Support for the IBLF is provided by Innovate UKBBSRC, and Innovate UK Business Connect.

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