IRC unveils comprehensive analysis of the UK's deep biotech infrastructure landscape

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In this blog, Maddie Cass, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Executive at the BIA, shares insights on the Innovation & Research Caucus (IRC) recent report, which examines the current state of the UK's non-health engineering biology infrastructure.

The Innovation & Research Caucus (IRC) has published a report that examines the current state of the UK's non-health engineering biology infrastructure. It offers a detailed analysis of the business, innovation and commercialisation landscape across four key sectors: agri-food, chemicals, materials, and environment. For more information, please refer to the full report.

A key motivator behind this report was to investigate the reasons for the UK's relative lag in commercialisation of non-health engineering biology applications. IRC’s investigation revealed that the UK hosts seven diverse and dynamic clusters of engineering biology activity, but these are hindered by significant gaps in the infrastructure that are impeding commercialisation. For example, half of the regional clusters lacked access to facilities for higher Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), and agri-food companies were held back by difficulty accessing scale-up fermentation equipment. The findings underscore the vital role of a robust support ecosystem, which is essential for the growth and development of start-up and scaling firms in this sector.

The report's release is particularly timely given the Government’s commitment to engineering biology set out in the National Vision for Engineering Biology and the progress update to the Science and Technology Framework. The Government has committed to invest £2 billion in the sector over the next 10 years. As the Government explores various strategies to establish the necessary infrastructure to support engineering biology in the UK, active involvement from industry stakeholders will be crucial.

The BIA sat on the advisory board of the IRC report and welcomed its publication. We firmly believe in the transformative potential of engineering biology in and beyond health to reconfigure the economy and bring about the biorevolution.

To advance our efforts in the Deep Biotech space, we are expanding our operations and supporting companies leveraging modern biotechnologies to address humanity's most profound challenges, including climate change, pollution and food security.

Learn more about Deep Biotech and our plans to support the burgeoning community in our report - Deep Biotech: Disruptive innovation for global sustainability.


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